Secret policemen's b*llsup – Dotcom court latest

Dotcom finds a moment to ham it up with his visiting US lawyer, Ira Rothken

The Crown will today release sanitised details of what happened when armed police raided Kim Dotcom's rented Coatesville mansion in January, where he was found locked in a safe room with a loaded gun.

Lawyers for Mr Dotcom are in the Auckland High Court this week arguing the police raid on the house was unreasonable.

The broad details of the raid have been known for some time; heavily armed police were dropped into the property by helicopter and in gung-ho fashion they scoured the property for the alleged internet pirate.

However, secret details of the raid which explains the timing of events, are about to be released.

The Crown has told the court it will allow a transcript of the police radio audio during the raid to be published tomorrow, with references to names, codes and call signs blanked out.

The public also won't get to see what's inside a blue-coloured secret police folder referred to in court, which contains documents relating to the "operational planning" of the special tactics group (STG) and which the Crown wants kept secret.


Yesterday 1pm:

Kim Dotcom assumed a helicopter which landed on his property early on January 20 was bringing guests he was expecting to join him for his birthday that day.

 

It wasn't unusual to hear a helicopter on the Coatesville property, and Mr Dotcom has told Auckland High Court the sound did not give him reason to suspect anything unnusual that morning – even though it was unnusual that the aircraft would land on the loose limestone-covered courtyard.

 

"But then I heard pinging of rocks, stones to my bedroom window," Mr Dotcom told the court.

 

"Shortly after I heard heavy banging on my door."

 

Giving evidence for his challenge to the lawfulness of what turned out to be a police raid on his home that day, Mr Dotcom recalled to his Queen's counsel Paul Davison how he then made his way to his "red room" or "safe room", where he could "defend himself if necessary".

 

That was where police found him and arrested him on a US-issued warrant for his extradition to America, where the government wants to charge him with copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering relating to his Megaupload website.

 

Search warrants executed by police at the property that day have since been found by Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann to be unlawful.

 

Under examination by Mr Davison this morning, Mr Dotcom – dressed in his signature black T-shirt, scarf and baggy black pants – demonstrated a sharp recollection of "very dramatic" events of the day.

 

"Our beautiful home was turned into a haunted house," he said. "Life is not the same after what happened."

 

Mr Dotcom said threats made against him and his family in the Phillippines, where they previously lived, had meant he felt a much greater need for security at his home.

 

Whenever something unnusual occurred which could be seen as some form of attack, he would activate an alarm and make his way to red room – a proceedure pre-determined by his security team.

 

Mr Dotcom said by the time he reached his red room he realised police were on the property because he had heard cries of "police".

 

He said he had access to a firearm in the red room – loaded to first fire two rubber bullets before firing lethal ammunition.

 

The Crown's allegation he had refused to adhere to police instructions and put his hands on the ground was not correct, he said.

 

Mr Dotcom demonstrated from the witness box how his hands were extended to the sides of his body, in surrender, when police entered the red room.

 

After police entered, Mr Dotcom said he received a punch to the face, was kicked to the floor and a police officer stood on his hand before both hands were secured behind his back.

 

"I was screaming and I was in pain," he said. "I told them there was no need for punching me or hurting me and please stop."

 

Cross-examined by Crown lawyer John Pike, an at times combative Mr Dotcom said such dramatic action could have been avoided at his home that day.

 

Police, who Mr Dotcom said followed him home from a recording studio at 4.30 that morning, could have instead stopped him at the gate of his property, he said.

 

Mr Dotcom said he would have let police on to the property to execute the search warrants without force.

 

"If someone had knocked on the door and said they had a document with charges I would have let them in."

 

Mr Dotcom said it was not his decision to display a notice in the gatehouse on the property that said "do not let police in".

 

His security team were professionals and he did not tell him how to do their job, he said.

 


Yesterday 10.40am: 

Crown wants Dotcom raid footage supressed

The Crown wants to suppress publication of CCTV footage of the police raid on Kim Dotcom's rented Coatesville mansion.

Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann made an order for interim supression of the material, which means it cannot be published or described in media reports.

The footage will be shown today at Auckland High Court, where Mr Dotcom is challenging the reasonableness of the police during a search and seizure operation carried out at his home in January.

Crown lawyer John Pike said the footage might identify members of the special tactics group of the New Zealand Police, or disclose the group's operational tactics.

Suppression of related written documents of the police was also sought.

Mr Dotcom's Queen's counsel Paul Davison opposed blanket supression of the material, saying it wasn't anything that would not be seen in any Hollywood movie.

Members of the media argued there was overwhelming public interest in the material – documenting a "highly unnusual" police operation that had not been seen before.

The Crown is due to make a formal order for full supression of all the material tomorrow.

Mr Dotcom is in court and will be called by his lawyer to give evidence about his use of firearms this morning.


Yesterday 9.40am:

The reasonableness, or otherwise, of the actions of police when they raided Kim Dotcom's rented Coatesville mansion in January will be tested in court today.

Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann earlier ruled the warrants police used to seize Mr Dotcom's property were unlawful.

Mr Dotcom's lawyer Willie Akel told NBR ONLINE today's hearing at Auckland High Court is a continuation of that finding.

"Justice Winkelmann now has to consider the reasonableness or otherwise of the actual search and seizure," Mr Akel says.

Evidence will be given over the three-day hearing, after which Justice Winkelmann will make orders.

He says the hearing will include argument on what remedies are owed to Mr Dotcom if the search is deemed unreasonable.

The Crown earlier indicated it will appeal Justice Winkelmann's decision that the search warrants were unlawful.

Mr Akel says that probably won't be the Crown's only appeal.

"Once the Crown has appealed that, and assuming Justice Winkelmann makes certain orders with regard to remedies I assume the Crown will appeal that as well.

"The fact they have said they're going to appeal doesn't affect this hearing."

The US wants to extradite Mr Dotcom so it can charge him with copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering relating to his Megaupload website.

His extradition hearing was due to start this week, but has been delayed until March next year. Tomorrow, the Crown will release details of what happened when armed police raided Kim Dotcom's rented Coatesville mansion in January, where he was found locked in a safe room with a loaded gun.

Lawyers for Mr Dotcom are in the Auckland High Court this week arguing the police raid on the house was unreasonable.

The broad details of the raid have been known for some time; heavily armed police were dropped into the property by helicopter and in gung-ho fashion they scoured the property for the alleged internet pirate.

However, secret details of the raid which explains the timing of events, is about to be released.

The Crown has told the court it will allow a transcript of the police radio audio during the raid to be published tomorrow, with references to codes and call signs blanked out.

The public also won't get to see what's inside a secret police folder, the colour of which cannot be revealed. 

 

 

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85 Comments & Questions

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Don't the public have right to know about the tactics of "special police" units?

Or are we living with some kind of out-of-control state arm that doesn't want the transparency of a liberal democracy?

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"are we living with some kind of out-of-control state arm that doesn't want the transparency of a liberal democracy?"

Yes. And shame on them.

Banana anyone?

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Worse than Banana as the Banjo playing hicks that make up our Police will end up costing the Tax Payers millions when Dot Com sues the a*ses off the Police for ignoring legal process.

The sad thing is if this had happened to an ordinary New Zealander they would already be in the hands of the US government despite the illegality of the FBI outrageous extradition attempts. Dot Com was saved only by the Lawyers that big bucks can buy.

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I would claim that Kim Dotcom owns the footage. It is his copyright. His machine recorded it with the cameras he installed.
The police stole the footage.

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Very week argument considering the ambiguity of privacy law, copy right, patent etc, search and seizure on law and good faith, public interest etc etc.

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#4. Actually, the law is very clear on copyright. Would be an interesting legal test if Dotcom's boys were to try it out.

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No. Copyright does not protect ideas or information. It protects the expression or form that those ideas or information take.

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Under the Copyright Act, the tapes are clearly an artistic work and Dotcom will own the copyright embodied in them.

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Dotcom would absolutely own the copyright. Regardless of any Court ruling, sooner or later, it will appear on You Tube. Watch this space.

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might see some jail time

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yes to all previous posts

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I dont think the operational tactics will be repeated - it took them 40 minutes to find him in the panic room shown on the plans, and even then they had to be shown the entry as they were trying to get into the dumb waiter!

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"Si, and it isa the lasta time I eva worka at mister dotcoms hacienda, thats fora shore!"

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probably thought the dumb waiter did it.

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probly fort da dumb waiter diddit

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The only reason the crown wants the raid footage supressed is because they don't want the public to see what really happened that day. It may also prove the police to be liars as Dotcom and team has always said that some of the officers were in plain clothing, not identifiable at police, whereas the police have always said that all officers on the ground were wearing ballistic vests that had the world 'POLICE' on them.

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you be right there . the scarry part was the police reply to criticism Burgess reply to me was very scary especially the end coments the demure of the man . it would also be interesting to also see what names are on the advisor teams for minister for police ,corrections, and justice over the last four years

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Maybe the footage shows Recording Industry executives doing the kicking and punching ... ?

Just saying ... who's punching who for who and for what, FBI?

Besides what's the big secret, we already know police 'special' tactics, Arthur Allan Thomas anyone?

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This is chilling... so anyone of of us could expect this treatment as a matter of course? I've been very uneasy about this allegation that he initially made in the few days following 'the raid' though on mentioning it to people I have been surprised no one seemed too concerned and I do not recall one question from any journalist to suitable politicians and/or officials regarding 'the bash' in all this time, now they want to suppress the footage, unbelievable. I guess Johnny's cops 'had too much time on their hands because crime had dropped' so were itching for some action.

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Under the new to come surveillance laws that Police will have this is a drop in the bucket for entry powers. However, I wouldn't go as far to say, in quoting you (sic) "...so anyone of of us could expect this treatment as a matter of course?" Keep in mind Kim gained great notoriety as founder of megaupload, a site claiming significant amounts of internet traffic with regards to file sharing. It's naive to believe "...Johnny's cops 'had too much time on their hands because crime had dropped, so were itching for some action!" A bit childish and whimsical don't you think.

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MMMMMmmm seems to me this guys behaviour would indicate he wasn't kicked hard enough!
I would like to see a police inquiry as to the reasons he was not.

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What behaviour are you refering to?

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Shut up John you muppet.

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RECKLESS ACTIONS....

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) reports prove Dotcom is a victom!

It show competiting companies supporting the dotcom raid, while them selves caused more copyright-piracy.

FileSonic (USA based company) should be SHUTDOWN!

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Wouldn't put it pass the cops. All the b.s macho bravado when they swarm in numbers. Be thankful, that there wasn't a courier driver on the property.

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If this previously convicted criminal who now calls himself "Dotcom" doesn't like living in NZ then he is welcome to go back to where he came from - where ever that might be - who would really know?

Good on the cops - we don't need this bloke living here.

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Aye, and Uncle Sam has even offered him a free flight to the old US of A to clear his name.
But he doesn't want to go!!!
I wonder why.

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Because only a fool believes that the American Justice system has anything to do with "Justice".

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But he does like living here... at no point has he said otherwise.

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you say this about a man that did more for the recovery of christchurch than any other individual sham on you who hide behind onomanity just like the gestapo and the secret informers of the old eastern block countries

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Yay for the big man.
Kim Dotcom for mayor of Auckland !

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Macho cops in numbers but cowardly enough to leave a dairy owner to bleed to death.

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Actually, it was a South Auckland liquor shop owner. People inside the shop, trying to assist the dying man, called 111 to say the offenders had left -- and still the cops remained decamped some distance away. And they wouldn't let the ambulance attend to try and save the guy's life.

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No, I'm sorry your incorrect. Decamped is the wrong term, and the Police should have maintained a safe forward point before they could ascertain the offender was no longer a threat. Why don't you blame the offender?

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Yes clearly the offender was to blame, however the police were also at fault and were rightly criticised as they failed in their duty to 'preserve life'.

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Oh so you know Police tactics do you? Or your an armchair judge

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Office chair judge actually, regardless my comment is supported by the findings of the Independent Police Complaints Authority. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/manukau-city/news/article.cfm?l_id=242&objecti...

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There is gross digression here, however your a bit confused about that report in regards to supporting your point of view, because it actually addresses quite a few systemic elements to do with Police communications and overall department procedure, not the "tactics" applied at frontlne, and again there was a rebuttal from Deputy Commissioner Pope to that nature. Tragic for Mr Singh? Yes very much so - it's absolutely terrible for him and family, but to say Police were cowardly, decamped, wouldn't let the ambulance through, etc, and the failure of duty to preserve life is due to (the officer's at the scene? which is where my argument lays)...well I wouldn't expect any other opinion from one who reads an article from their office chair and blurs the distinction between frontline tactical options, and comms misinformation. And you know, "hindsight" is a great thing! You my friend would have soiled your pants in that position.

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aggreed

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what cr*p.

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Out come the whining PRN's

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I Wonder how much our Police were ordered to act as they did by the U.S.A. ? Can we see more of this when the Demos against the selling of New Zealand get more heated?

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Welcome to Little Amerika!

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I'm a big guy you know, but I was punched and kicked to the floor, and the worst part, it's hard to talk about it, but they....they damn well tickled me until I wee wee my pants....sob, sob...sigh

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Tiki Taane was right. These boys love a bit of off camera thuggery....except when it gets caught on camera, cue the "secrecy" line of defence.

The Dotcom interview with John Campbell is a must-watch, everything he claimed in that interview is 100% correct.

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Hey anonymous #28, grow up, so you think it's okay for the state to bowl right up to your home, smash their way in terrifying your wife and kids in the process then punch and kick you to the floor, and take everything that belongs to you, you are sick.

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Not sick at all Doctor N, just a bit of black humour in a forum that's taking things way too seriously....almost anti-state.

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This is worse than World War 2.

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don't mention the War!

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The NZ Police seem to be at the beck and call of small nations .. they helped hustle some Israeli,s out of Christchurch within hours of the earthquake, but then seriously assault a man who has done great political service to NZ and helped the john Banks get me into parliament fund.

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