New Zealand police ordered to return Dotcom material

May 31, 2013
The Auckland mansion of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom on January 20, 2013. A New Zealand judge on Friday ordered police to return any digital material seized in an armed raid on Internet mogul Kim Dotcom's mansion last year not directly related to the prosecution against him.

A New Zealand judge on Friday ordered police to return any digital material seized in an armed raid on Internet mogul Kim Dotcom's mansion last year not directly related to the prosecution against him.

The decision by High Court chief judge Helen Winkelmann follows a ruling last year that the January 2012 raid on Dotcom's Auckland mansion was illegal because the used were too broad to be considered reasonable.

Digital material such as were taken in the dawn swoop as part of a US probe into allegations of massive online piracy by Dotcom's now-defunct Megaupload empire.

Winkelmann ordered police to review all the material, at their own expense, to identify material that was irrelevant to the prosecution case, then return it to Dotcom.

She rejected the argument that the police had committed only a technical breach of the law and should not have to sift the material for irrelevant data, which they said would be a lengthy and expensive exercise.

"The deficiencies in the warrants and, as a consequence, the searches, were more than merely technical," she said.

"The defects in the warrants were such that the warrants were nullities. The plaintiffs are entitled to relief."

She also said the police must provide Dotcom with clones of material that had already been sent to the FBI.

Dotcom's US-based lawyer Ira Rothkin tweeted that his legal team was analysing the decision.

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.

The and FBI want Dotcom to face charges of racketeering, fraud, money-laundering and copyright theft in a US court, which could see him jailed for up to 20 years.

and his three co-accused deny any and are free on bail in New Zealand ahead of an proceeding scheduled for August.

Explore further: Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US attorney general defends Dotcom prosecution

May 08, 2013

US Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday denied allegations from Kim Dotcom that the prosecution against the Internet tycoon was launched to appease Hollywood moguls concerned about online piracy.

Megaupload New Zealand extradition case delayed again

Dec 20, 2012

A US bid to extradite Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom from New Zealand for alleged online piracy has been delayed for a second time and will not be heard until August next year, his lawyers said Thursday.

Megaupload boss wins right to see US evidence

Aug 16, 2012

The boss of file-sharing site Megaupload has the right to see US evidence against him so he can defend a bid to extradite him from New Zealand on online piracy charges, an Auckland court ruled Thursday.

NZ court backs Dotcom's right to sue spy agency

Mar 07, 2013

An appeal court Thursday backed Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom's right to sue New Zealand's foreign intelligence agency for illegally spying on him as part of a US probe into alleged online piracy.

Megaupload N. Zealand extradition case delayed

Jul 10, 2012

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom's extradition case against US authorities has been delayed until next year amid legal wrangling in New Zealand over evidence disclosure, his lawyers said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

3 hours ago

China's top smartphone seller Xiaomi Corp. is raising more than $1 billion in a fresh round of funding, a move which would raise its valuation above $45 billion, a report said Sunday.

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

Dec 20, 2014

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

Dec 20, 2014

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

Sony tells AFP it still plans movie release

Dec 20, 2014

Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton denied Friday the Hollywood studio has "caved" by canceling the release of "The Interview," and said it still hoped to release the controversial film.

2012 movie massacre hung over 'Interview' decision

Dec 19, 2014

When a group claiming credit for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment threated violence against theaters showing "The Interview" earlier this week, the fate of the movie's big-screen life was all but ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.