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Secret policemen's b*llsup – Dotcom court latest

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. 



More by Caleb Allison and Georgina Bond

Comments and questions

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?

"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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

might see some jail time

yes to all previous posts

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!

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

probably thought the dumb waiter did it.

probly fort da dumb waiter diddit

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.

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

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?

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.

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) " 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.

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.

What behaviour are you refering to?

Shut up John you muppet.


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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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?

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'.

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

Office chair judge actually, regardless my comment is supported by the findings of the Independent Police Complaints Authority.

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.


what cr*p.

Out come the whining PRN's

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?

Welcome to Little Amerika!

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

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.

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.

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.

This is worse than World War 2.

don't mention the War!

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.

Yeah, and once John Banks got what he wanted, he dropped him like a hot potato!

We are surrounded by CORRUPTION, yet it's not the 'real' crooks, ending up behind bars...

Pablo .. this is WW2 .. Dads Army ..

Kit DC is like a modern day Friar Tuck!

We need more big people like him to stand up to the greedy yanks/capitalist, that are lording it over the rest of us.

Who's going to become his Robin Hood?

The yanks claim he is a robbing hood!!

One suspects that if two police officers had knocked on the door and asked if he would accompany them he would have obliged and NZ would have not have had to absorb the huge cost associated with this exercise. This has left the majority of us embarrassed and ashamed that our government would bow down to US demands and further to that if he is found to be innocent I shudder to think what the damages claim is likely to be. Half a South Canty bail out perhaps!

Our cops are no better than those in mexico and the americas. And just as disciplined.

Yes James you are correct, Dotcom would have complied without duress. What is actually happening here is two-fold. 1) The NZ Police is becoming increasingly militarised. This action was a high profile statement to the public to challenge what is known as 'normalcy bias'. We will see more of this unproportional force in the future and become desensitised to it untill finally the populace demands it. It was completely unecessary. Think about it, a swat team arrest for an internet pirate. If it can happen to the rich it most certainly will done to the average Joe. 2) It sends a strong statement of collaboration to the FBI. We didnt just send in the AOS(armed offenders squad) we sent in the STG which is akin to the counter-terrorist unit. The Police are becoming out of control and above the law. The public has no idea of the disdain the Police have for our Liberties. The culture is rotten.

I completely agree, James. Serious incompetence married to spinelessness in very high places.

Superb back up in the Hain St bugging op. Just superb.

Diddums.Believe that ,believe anything.Wonder how he beat his dubious European track record and got into NZ? Almost forgot,Money.

LIke most New Zealanders I am sick and tired of hearing about this overblown German import. Kick him out of NZ and let the germans look after their own. This must be costing us a small fortunwe that could be spent on someone who needs and deserves it

could be your front door next.

Unlike most New Zealanders you are interested only in yourself and therefore contribute pointless nonsense. This is costing a large fortune, the damages claim is potentially huge and it involves a lot of serious issues of technology, law and conduct.

Go Dotcom. Wonder what happened to the 10 million in Treasury Bonds he was required to buy for his NZ residency. And the income tax he undoubtedly paid during his time here, including GST. Or the million or so for Christchurch. Has that been confiscated as proceeds of crime? I would think not. Hypocrites.

The whole sorry affair certainly does the police and their political masters no credit;they look like bumbling fools!
And why cannot the public who will end up standing the cost (which will be substantial) of this misadventure not see all the evidence?-too embarrasing I guess?

BIG David Lange stood up to the U.S. Military Bullies and also France to ban nukes of any description in the South Pacific. Time now for NZ Resident BIG MR KIM DOTCOM to stand up and help me DESTROY HOLLYWOOD !!! Corporate-driven U.S. Politics will not be tolerated in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

So Dot Con can buy politicians AND cops.

No wonder we have to depend on the US to do our law enforcement.

Sounds like a lot of Dotcom's mates are having their say on here.

The reality is this guy is a crook who now goes by a different name and thinks he can walk all over our legal system because he is supposedly rich. Isn't strange how he seems to have so many supporters on this site?

We have enough crooks in the business world in this country and we certainly don't need him or any of his shonky supporters.

Good on the Police for nailing him and the sooner he is gone, the better. Let's hope the Americans have a jail cell big enough to fit him in? Dotcom is a criminal and we certainly don't need him here.

Your lack of understanding as to what is actually taking place regards this case and its implications on so many levels is truly breathtaking.

@#17 Anonymous..."shut up you muppet"

@#18 not #17 #19 , or maybe #20 and #21

Drongo rogue cops or lackeys to Uncle Sam. Take your pick. Oh, Keystone Kops as third altenative.

They're so ROGUE!

I dont know about you but this isnt even old news, it is ANCIENT news. I for one am sick of this guy clogging the headlines. He had a reputation for hording guns so the po-po went in hard. I dont agree with the whole studio greedy b@stard thing but I am utterly bored with

Why bother commenting let alone reading a subject you claim to find so "boring"?
This is one of the most fascinating sagas to hit the IT and legal world and if you dont understand that and like throwing around heresay then you best take up something less stressful, try gardening perhaps.

don't knock gardening :p

knock dot com...sorry

Do dumb waiters have any rights? Being taken to with a battering ram is a frightening thing alright, alright..

The taxpaying public have an absolute right to see all footage and info relating to this case-afterall we will be paying the bill when Dotcom's damages (which will be extensive) are paid.
The best suggestion I have heard recently to improve our runaway police and justice system is for judges' performance to be assessed annually

If Dotcoms bank accounts and assets have been seized because of 'alledged' criminal activity, then why has Mr Banks not been requested to return the "anonymous donations". After all they may be proceeds of crime ...... doh

Here's an idea....don't possess firearms illegally, don't use them in a manner which questions your intentions and state of mind and don't run and hide in a secret room and not comply with instructions.

Don't you think you are being a tad too sensible and logical for the present company?
I do?


My worry is that our John Key is, PM,Minister of the SIS, and the local elected Member of Parliament: Yet he has claimed on TV "never to have to have herard of Kim Dot Com until the day before the raid on the Coatesville Mansion, when he signed off on it."

We now know that the Americans had been in dialiogue with the NZ Govt. agencies since FEB last year. With the inevitable cross agencies of the NZ Govts required for an initiative as complex as this, along with its international ramifications, either John Key is dismissed as not needing to be briefed by these agencies, at which he is top dog, or he is telling "porkies." Either way it doesnt bode well for us Kiwis.