Police to sort and return Dotcom's seized items

Kim Dotcom

Police have been ordered to sort through all items seized from Kim Dotcom’s home in the January 2011 raid and return material, such as digital photos or films, not relevant to the FBI’s case against him.

The orders, just released by Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann, have to be carried out at the police’s own cost.

Clones of hard drives that have already been sent to the US, where authorities want to charge the internet mogul for copyright infringement and money laundering in relation to his Megaupload website, have been ordered to be returned if they carry personal material.

And where items contain material relevant to the case, clones must be given to Mr Dotcom and his three co-accused before they are sent to the US.

Justice Winkelmann’s orders follow a two-day remedy hearing at Auckland High Court last month.

Having earlier determined that that aspects of the police search and seizure operation at Mr Dotcom’s rented mansion in Coatesville, north of Auckland, was illegal, Justice Winkelmann was dealing with the appropriate relief to be granted to Mr Dotcom.

Mr Dotcom wanted access to all the material seized and irrelevant material returned.

Police said any invalidity or illegality in the search was technical in nature only, so Mr Dotcom had suffered no prejudice and the relief he sought was difficult and expensive to provide.

However, Justice Winkelmann said deficiencies in the warrants, and therefore the searches, were more than merely technical.

“The defects in the warrants were such that the warrants were nullities.”

Justice Winkelmann said because a miscarriage of justice had resulted, she did not have to exercise her discretion to refuse relief.

“The warrants could not authorise the permanent seizure of hard drives and digital materials against the possibility that they might contain relevant material, with no obligation to check them for relevance.

“They could not authorise the shipping offshore of those hard drives with no check to see if they contained relevant material. Nor could they authorise keeping the plaintiffs out of their own information, including information irrelevant to the offences.”

Justice Winkelmann concludes the appropriate remedy is for police to conduct the sorting exercise they should have long since undertaken.

The sorting exercise will need to be carried out in New Zealand, where the material remains subject to the jurisdiction of the New Zealand courts.

“I accept that cost and effort will be involved, but it is cost and effort that arises from the need to deal with the material in a lawful manner.”

She asked police to inform the FBI of her orders.

gbond@nbr.co.nz

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Does this extend to the return of all his cars, furniture and art that was so publicly trucked away?

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Sadly no.......

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The Judge is to be commended for her principals. I suspect she has been under a lot of pressure from the real criminals in this case.

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And all the memory sticks, too.

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Wonder any Tom, Dick or Harry who can't effort the legal bills can get the same justice....you be the judge.

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No, what ever made you think they would - user pays

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It shows that this tea party government was pressured by the Americans on behalf of Hollywood. So John Key closed his eyes, signed a warrant for GCSB to spy Mr Dotcom illegally.

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Why have the police involved in these illegal acts been criminally charged? Why weren't they arrested and charged after the equally illegal Tuhoe attacks? NZ is in my opinion being run by corrupt criminals and i reject all claims to sovereignty by this artificial imaginary entity i call the Crooked Crown and all of the gangsters who support it and receive stolen property and wrongfully claim sovereignty in Aotearoa!

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Why do we tolerate a third world police system that always comes across as a second rate rugby team trying to win instead of protecting tax payers? Dotcoms a tax payer. The police have acted illegally. Judges have ruled they acted illegally. And they are still wasting our money trying to cover up what they have done. To hell with seeking truth. They just want to nail him. Arthur Alan Thomas, Dave Bain, Peter Ellis, (we all suspect may more), and now Kim Dotcoms in their sights.

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This business could go on for years yet - at taxpayer expense - and end up with no result for the government, police and/or the secret police, all who have blotted their copybook in this exercise in what appears to be kow-towing to American political pressure.
The sooner Dotcom's assets are returned to him and the Americans told to bugger off the better, I reckon.
With all the illegalities committed by the NZ authorities to date, I doubt that Dotcom will end up being convicted of anything.

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