Megaupload Seizure Order â€śNull and Voidâ€ť Says High Court
In another astonishing development in the Megaupload saga, a judge in New Zealandâ€™s High Court has declared the order used to seize Kim Dotcomâ€™s assets as â€śnull and voidâ€ť. The blunder, which occurred because the police applied for the wrong type of court order, means that the Megaupload founder could have his property returned.
Just when it seemed that the handling of the Megaupload case couldnâ€™t get any more controversial, a development from New Zealand has taken things to the next level.
Following the raids on Kim Dotcomâ€™s mansion in January, police seized millions of dollars worth of property belonging to the Megaupload founder. But thanks to a police blunder, he could now see all of those assets returned.
On Friday, Justice Judith Potter in the High Court declared the order used to seize Dotcomâ€™s property â€śnull and voidâ€ť after it was discovered that the police had acted under a court order that should have never been granted.
The error dates back to January when the police applied for the order granting them permission to seize Dotcomâ€™s property. Rather than applying for an interim restraining order, the Police Commissioner applied for a foreign restraining order instead, one which did not give Dotcom a chance to mount a defense.
According to New Zealand Herald, on January 30th prosecution lawyer Anne Toohey wrote to the court explaining that the wrong order had been applied for and detailed five errors with the application.
Justice Potter said that police commissioner Peter Marshall tried to correct the error by applying for the correct order after the raids were completed and retrospectively adding the items already seized.
Although the correct order was eventually granted albeit on a temporary basis, Potter said she will soon rule on whether the â€śprocedural errorâ€ť will result in Dotcom having his property returned.
The Crown is arguing that since the new order was granted the earlier error no longer matters, but Dotcomâ€™s legal team framed it rather differently by describing the seizure of assets as â€śunlawfulâ€ť.
Whether the assets are returned will rest on Dotcomâ€™s legal team showing a lack of â€śgood faithâ€ť in connection with the blunder. A hearing to decide if the assets will be returned will take place next week.