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DOTCOM saga - updates

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...From an NZ perspective, in the Dotcom case, the judgement was clear that there has been illegal action by the State - the police/SAS and GCSB - and it certainly looks like the police committed perjury. Oops.
We are all interested to know when and how  these matters will be properly addressed by the judiciary.
(Sounds of crickets chirping.)
-IainB (December 08, 2013, 04:37 AM)
--- End quote ---

Well, the crickets are still chirping - except it's mid-summer in NZ now, so really all you can hear are the cicadas - but if perjury wasn't enough, it looks as though meanwhile there's been another "Oops!" by the NZ government. This time it's the turn of the GCSB (again), who, apparently not content with accidentally-on-purpose carrying out illegal spying on NZ citizens, have now apparently accidentally-on-purpose deleted some/all of the evidence that was to be used to ... prove that GCSB had been carrying out illegal spying, in a court of law.

Dearie me, what a kerfuffle! And such a puzzle too - I mean, how would one go about proving that the illegal spying had been going on if the proof had been deleted?   :tellme:

GCSB deleted key evidence - Dotcom
1:12 PM Tuesday Feb 4, 2014
BREAKING NEWS: The GCSB spy agency seems to have deleted evidence relevant to my case against the GCSB for illegally spying on NZ residents.
    — Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) February 3, 2014

--- End quote ---

The spy agency which illegally monitored Kim Dotcom's communications has admitted deleting information needed in
the upcoming $6 million damages hearing, according to the tycoon.

Dotcom last night tweeted the claim, saying: "The GCSB spy agency seems to have deleted evidence relevant to my case against the GCSB for illegally spying on NZ residents.''

He quoted Crown lawyers as saying "some communications have automatically aged off. We propose to include ... those communications which are still recoverable''.

Dotcom claimed lawyers acting for the GCSB told him the material had "aged off'' the system, suggesting it had automatically deleted.

He also posted a video of Prime Minister John Key, who is in charge of the agency, saying: "This is a spy agency. We don't delete things. We archive them.''

Mr Key's office said he was speaking specifically about allegations the GCSB deleted a video of him talking about Dotcom inside its top secret building.

"He stands by what he said,'' said a spokeswoman.

The claim that evidence was deleted has brought fresh calls for an independent inquiry into the agency, described today by the Labour and Green parties as operating outside the law.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said: "If it is true, then they are a rogue agency operating in contempt of the law and courts.''

Information sought as part of a court process is meant to be preserved - and doing otherwise was "basic contempt of court'', said Mr Norman.

He said Mr Key was attempting to distance himself from his statement in Parliament, saying the comments were made "in the most general terms''.

"He has misled the House.''

He said an independent inquiry into the GCSB would be part of an coalition negotiations after this year's election.

Labour associate spokesman on security issues Grant Robertson said he was concerned about the implications of Dotcom's claims.

"If true, it speaks of an agency that has operated where they don't believe they need to pay attention to the law.'' He said people would ask why they should "trust an agency like this if it's not going to comply with the law''.

He said Mr Key needed to "come clean'' about what he knew about the deleted information.

The inquiry into the GCSB by former Cabinet secretary Rebecca Kitteridge, the incoming Security Intelligence Service boss, referred to material being "aged off'' its systems.

The process was referred to when detailing how the GCSB dealt with failure to follow its own law or rules. She wrote "the information concerning the target will be deleted within GCSB if it has not already 'aged off' the system''.

Speaking in Auckland later, Mr Key said Dotcom was "completely and utterly wrong''.

"I can't talk specifically about Mr Dotcom's evidence because it's before the courts. But what I can say is the claims that he's making that there's some kind of inconsistency with how we treat things is quite wrong,'' he said.

"Essentially, legal documents that are created by GCSB are held in their system and archived for evidence. Raw intelligence has to actually, by law, age off the system if it's no longer relevant or required,'' he said.

"The great irony is, if you cast your mind back to the GCSB debate, there were many people arguing that the GCSB shouldn't hold on to data for as along as it does. Now these same people seem to be saying `ah well, we should be holding onto this data forever'. They're just trying to join dots that cannot be joined and confuse people.''

--- End quote ---

This amazing theatre-farce is being acted out in front of the probably by now bewildered NZ public who would presumably have thought, up to this point at any rate, that on the whole NZ was about as far as one could get from a State that was corrupt and repressive. Given the apparent and surprising disappointments on those fronts, the last bastion of freedom and justice would be the judiciary and the courts of law. Let's hope they are up to the task.

Some people (not me, you understand) might say that, unless he can pull a rabbit of considerable integrity out of a hat, Prime Minister John Key looks like he could be at risk of becoming dog tucker come the next election, but I couldn't possibly comment.

Now the NZ judiciary have apparently reversed the decision that the Dotcom raid was illegal, though the FBI's taking of evidence is apparently still deemed as being illegal. One has no idea what the heck is going on or how long it may be before the decision(s) are changed again. PM John Keys seems to be wanting to make little comment and is keeping the thing at arm's length (as he should). No mention yet of how the apparent perjury by the police is to be addressed.
Here's a a very good summary from
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Dotcom raid legal, FBI taking evidence not
Last updated 14:24 19/02/2014
Fairfax NZ

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the raids on Kim DotCom's mansion were legal - however the removal of electronic goods was an unauthorised breach.
Kim Dotcom
RAIDS WERE LEGAL: Though the warrants to raid Kim Dotcom's Auckland mansion in 2012 were flawed, the Court of Appeal says they were still valid.
Related Links
Court of Appeal judgment: Her Majesty's Attorney-General v Kim Dotcom
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Police raids on Kim Dotcom's mansion in 2012 have been declared legal, but FBI removal of electronic information seized in the search was an unauthorised breach, the Court of Appeal has found.

    Court of Appeal judgment: Her Majesty's Attorney-General v Kim Dotcom (.pdf)

Dotcom's legal team was reviewing the rulings, and would likely seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court over the validity of the warrants, the internet tycoon's lawyer Ira Rothken said.

Police executed search warrants on the properties of Dotcom and computer programmer Bram van der Kolk on January 20, 2012, seizing 135 electronic items including laptops, computers, portable hard drives, flash storage devices and servers.

In a judgment released today, the Court of Appeal said the warrants were executed at the request of the United States Department of Justice which is seeking the extradition of Dotcom, van der Kolk and others to face trial on a number of charges including breach of copyright and money laundering involving "substantial sums of money".

The High Court ruled last June the search warrants executed on Dotcom's mansion at Coatesville in Auckland's rural north, were invalid because they were not sufficiently specific.

Justice Winkelmann ruled the search warrants "did not adequately describe the offences to which they related" and "authorised the seizure of such very broad categories of items that unauthorised irrelevant material would inevitably be captured".

No offence was identified in the warrants which merely referred to "breach of copyright" - an offence in the United States, but there is no criminal offence of breach of copyright in New Zealand.

The warrants also did not stipulate which country's laws the alleged offence was committed under, Justice Winkelmann found.

The other defects went "to the heart of the warrants and could not be properly categorised as minor", she ruled.

The attorney-general appealed this decision, acknowledging the search warrants were "far from perfect", but that leading authorities required the court to adopt a "common-sense approach taking into account the particular circumstances of the case".

In its judgment today, the Court of Appeal said that while the warrants were defective in some respects, the deficiencies were not sufficient to mean they should be nullified.

Dotcom and the other respondents would have understood the nature and scope of the warrants, especially in light of their arrest warrants – which were not defective - and the explanations given to them by the police when the properties were searched, the Court of Appeal found.

In these circumstance, no miscarriage of justice occurred.

"[We] are satisfied that the defects in the search warrants have not caused any significant prejudice to the respondents beyond the prejudice caused inevitably by the execution of a search warrant," the Appeal Court judgment said.

In relation to the electronic information, the court said the police wrongly permitted the FBI to take to the United States copies of some of the electronic items seized in the raid.

In June the High Court ruled the removal of the copies of the electronic items was in breach of the solicitor-general's direction to the commissioner of police that the items were to remain in the commissioner's "custody and control" until further direction.

The Appeal Court dismissed the Attorney-General's appeal on that matter, and held the removal was unlawful and contrary to the solicitor-general's direction.

None of the other issues relating to Dotcom currently before the courts were dealt with by the Court of Appeal's judgment today.


Prime Minister John Key said the case would drag on well past the election.

"What the Court of Appeal has found is that the police search warrants were valid. The only point I would make is there are going to be a lot of twists and turns in terms of litigation with Mr Dotcom. These matters are highly likely to be appealed so we'll just leave it at that."

He said the ruling proved the police were correct when they said the mistakes they made in relation to the raids were "form over substance".

"One of the major arguments were that the police acted in an invalid way that's just not the finding of the Court of Appeal.

The case would likely not be done before the election, he said.

"If somebody wants to appeal an extradition and take legal action at every nook and cranny then it can take a very long time."

Key would not say whether the finding increased the likelihood of Dotcom being extradited.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, who last week called the case against Dotcom flawed and said he would move to block any extradition, refused to say whether the verdict had changed his view.

The case had a long way to go "and I'm not going to get into every twist and turn of it".

"It's not really a matter for me, obviously it's between the Crown and Kim Dotcom."

His comments last week were based on the information available to him at the time and he would not reconsider those until the court process was complete.

"There will no doubt be new facts arise over the course of the year ... Let's see what happens over the course of the year and then we'll see what's going on."


Kim Dotcom's legal case is made up of four separate strands in four different courts and it's got a long way to go yet, so here's a bluffer's guide.

1. Disclosure: Kim Dotcom's lawyers want to know what evidence the US Government has against him. The US says "disclosure" of evidence isn't required for an extradition hearing. Although the High Court ordered the evidence to be handed over, the Court of Appeal overturned that decision. This argument is now awaiting a ruling by the Supreme Court.

2. Search and Seizure: Last year, the High Court ruled the search warrants used in the January raid on Dotcom's house were too broad, and therefore illegal. Today, that was overturned and the Court of Appeal ruled that while the warrants were defective, they were legal. However, the Appeal Court judges agreed data taken from Dotcom, "cloned", and given to the FBI was unauthorised. Dotcom is likely to take the search warrant decision to the Supreme Court as overturning it could help with his extradition case.

3. Compensation from police and the GCSB: This is related to the search and seizure. Dotcom's team are effectively suing police and the spy agency for $6m for illegally monitoring his communications, then searching his home and taking his property. While today's judgement undermines part of this case - the use of unlawful warrants - Dotcom could still sue for the spying, the unlawful removal of data, and what he believes were "over-the-top" tactics and human rights breaches by the police during the raid.

4. The Extradition: Originally set down for March 2013, due to the myriad of complications in the case, the extradition has now been moved to later this year, with further delays likely. Usually extradition hearings are relatively straightforward, but don't cross your fingers in this case.



Kim Dotcom, an internet businessman with old convictions for hacking and insider trading (wiped under Germany's clean-slate law), applies for New Zealand residency. Rents mansion of Chrisco founder Richard Bradley in Coatesville.

November: Granted residency.


Early 2011: FBI asks NZ to help investigation of Dotcom's file-sharing business Megaupload.

December 2011: GCSB spies on Dotcom at request of police.


January 20: Armed raid on Dotcom's home. He, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk arrested. FBI accuse him of half-billion-dollar copyright theft. He denies it.

February 16: Ofcanz and GCSB debrief; police raise concerns surveillance may have been illegal because of permanent residency status.

February 22: Dotcom is granted bail.

February 27: GCSB's lawyer concludes surveillance was lawful.

June 28: In the New Zealand High Court, Justice Helen Winkelmann rules the raid on the Dotcom mansion was illegal.

August 10: Ofcanz's Detective Inspector Grant Wormald tells High Court about a "mystery group" of officials at

December 14 meeting.

August 16: Deputy PM Bill English signs certificate suppressing GCSB involvement in Dotcom raid. The fact gets out anyway.

September 13: GCSB says it became aware the spying was illegal.

September 17: Key launches an inquiry, headed by Inspector-General of Intelligence Paul Neazor.

September 24: Crown files memorandum confirming GCSB involvement. Key goes public.

September 27: Key apologises to Dotcom after Neazor says GCSB surveillance was illegal as Dotcom is NZ resident.

September 28: Greens' Russel Norman lodges complaint with police over GCSB.

October 1: Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Kitteridge begins review of GCSB.

All year: Numerous legal hearings in NZ and US over bail conditions, the legality of the raid and attempts to extradite Dotcom.


January 20: Dotcom launches his new "Mega" file-storage business, with a celebrity-studded party.

March 7: The Court of Appeal rules Dotcom can sue the GCSB and NZ police, upholding a previous High Court decision.

April 3: Scrutiny of GCSB head Ian Fletcher reveals he got the job after an approach by Key. The pair were childhood friends.

April 8: Fairfax's Andrea Vance reveals details from leaked copy of Kitteridge's report into GCSB, which says more than 80 people may have been illegally spied on.

April 9: Kitteridge Report officially released.

June 9: CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals Prism surveillance programme by American NSA. Dotcom talks up links between GCSB and NSA.

July 3: Dotcom appears at select committee hearings on proposed law to let GCSB spy on NZers. Dotcom and Key trade insults.

July 30: Dispute over evidence disclosure reaches the New Zealand Supreme Court.

August 21: New Zealand Government rushes through law change giving GSCB powers to spy on NZers.


January 15: Dotcom unveils a logo revealing his political venture, the Internet Party.

February 19: The Court of Appeal deems the raids on the Dotcom mansion to be legal.

- © Fairfax NZ News
--- End quote ---

Here it comes.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Dotcom Heads to Supreme Court to Appeal Raid Decision
    By Andy     on May 6, 2014

The argument over whether or not the raid on Kim Dotcom's mansion back in January 2012 was legal is heading to the highest court in New Zealand. Yesterday the Supreme Court gave Dotcom permission to appeal a February Court of Appeal ruling that overturned an earlier High Court decision that the raid was unlawful.

Following the huge raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion in January 2012, questions started to be asked about the legality of the warrants used to launch the operation.

In mid 2012 a High Court judge found that the warrants were not only overbroad but also illegal, providing a big boost to Dotcom’s extradition battle prospects with the United States.

However, this February the Megaupload founder suffered a setback when the Court of Appeal overturned the earlier High Court ruling. While it was agreed the warrants contained flaws, the judges found that overall the warrants were legal.

But it’s not over yet.

The Supreme Court has now granted Dotcom leave to appeal the Court of Appeal ruling from February.

“The Supreme Court granted us permission to argue the validity of search warrants used in this raid,” Dotcom announced on Twitter.

The hearing is set for June 11 to June 12.

--- End quote ---

Well, it's now July 2016 and Dotcom apparently still hasn't been extradited from Kiwiland to Merika. Lots of appeals etc.
I guess, like well-matured cheeses, "These things take time.".

Meanwhile, prompted by this comment on DCF under Re: Interesting "stuff":
... Megaupload is coming back and your old account will still work ...
-Arizona Hot (July 12, 2016, 04:14 PM)
--- End quote ---

- I watched the video and then found this following and rather interesting video interview and report by VICE (they're usually pretty objective):
Kim Dotcom: The Man Behind Megaupload -

I recently heard Kim Dotcom is no longer behind Mega: somehow someone else got 51+% of ownership so he's abandoning/abandoned it and working on a new project. But I have no sources to back it up. Anyone else know anything about this?

Edit: I realize now that it's possible the video linked above may have explained everything I just said, and that relaunching MegaUpload may be the "new" project I heard about. I haven't watched the video yet, as it's late here and I'm heading to bed.


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