New Zealand court rules Megaupload raid was illegal

Jun 28, 2012

New Zealand police acted illegally when armed officers raided Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's Auckland mansion earlier this year, a High Court judge ruled on Thursday.

Judge Helen Winkelmann said the police used when they raided the Internet millionaire's property as part of a US probe into allegations of massive online piracy were too broad to be considered reasonable.

The ruling will not end the case against Dotcom -- who is on bail awaiting a bid to extradite him to the United States -- but the judge said that next week she would consider ordering some seized material to be returned to him.

She also found seized by police during the raid had been unlawfully copied and sent to authorities in the United States, who accuse Dotcom of racketeering, and copyright theft.

"The police relied on invalid warrants when they searched the properties and seized the various items, the search and seizure was therefore illegal," Winkelmann said in a judgement released Thursday.

US authorities allege Megaupload and related file-sharing sites netted more than $175 million and cost copyright owners more than $500 million by offering pirated copies of movies, TV shows and other content.

and his three co-accused, who were all arrested in the January 20 raid, deny any wrongdoing and have vowed to fight the charges, which carry potential jail terms of up to 20 years.

Winkelmann will hear final submissions from both legal teams representing the accused and the police next Wednesday before issuing orders.

In a separate legal move, the in Virginia is scheduled to hear a motion from Megaupload's lawyers Friday to dismiss the case against the company and its executives.

The motion will argue that the and FBI had no right to take action against Megaupload because the Hong Kong-registered company has no presence in the United States.

Police said in a statement that they were considering the judgement and deciding what further action is now required.

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User comments : 11

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4.6 / 5 (8) Jun 28, 2012
1st the world's police force, now the world's court room. This is a NZ case, not US. NZ ought to tell the US to back off and get bent.
1 / 5 (3) Jun 28, 2012
It was evident from its very beginning. Now we can just ask again, why exactly the Muslims don't like the USA.
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 28, 2012
MegaUpload raid was illegal, Supreme court rules that Obama-Care is constitutional.

It is turning out to be a very bad week for Republican Vermin.
3 / 5 (4) Jun 28, 2012
... and a good week for the liberal hypocrites and snake oil salesmen.
3 / 5 (4) Jun 28, 2012
xen appears to be an enemy of intellectual liberty and improving access to and the quality of American healthcare.

IF such, he is the enemy of he American People.
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 29, 2012
I am the enemy of the ones that want a free ride all their lives. Tough love makes the country strong. Soft hearts and softer heads bring on socialism, decay, and anarchy. You want Greece and UK's broken economies here? Well it's coming ...
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2012
You sure it wasn't isolation from two world wars that allowed America to profit by remaining undamaged while selling goods and services to Europe as it rebuilt?

"Tough love makes the country strong." - xen

3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2012
So you are a corporate uncle tom who believes that Americans must be trapped into slave labour by an economic system in which they are trained and manipulated like cattle to slave away at jobs that are only necessary because the products they make are purposely designed to fail thereby necessitating more work to build replacements.

"I am the enemy of the ones that want a free ride all their lives. " - xen
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2012
Well, that is what 40 years of Borrow and Spend Republicanism will get you.

"You want Greece and UK's broken economies here? Well it's coming ..." - xen

5 / 5 (2) Jun 29, 2012
You sure it wasn't isolation from two world wars that allowed America to profit by remaining undamaged while selling goods and services to Europe as it rebuilt?

Not to forget the effective genocide and the centuries of slavery. Both were profitable.
4.6 / 5 (5) Jun 29, 2012
I am the enemy of the ones that want a free ride all their lives.

We know. You want to starve the handicapped, the old, the sick.

You want Greece and UK's broken economies here?
The UK is the US's extension in Europe.
Neither the four centuries of Ottoman oppression nor the decades of global financial terrorism can stop the Greek culture to last another three millennia.
Whether the Imperium Americanum will last another four centuries remains to be seen.

But some people did not yet learn why culture is more than mere economy.

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