Torrentfreak: Megaupload Seizure Order “Null and Void” Says High Court

Just when it seemed that the handling of the Megaupload case couldn’t get any more controversial, a development from New Zealand has taken things to the next level.

Kim Dotcom
Kim Dotcom

Following the raids on Kim Dotcom’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 Dotcom’s property “null and void” 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 Dotcom’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 “procedural error” 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 Dotcom’s legal team framed it rather differently by describing the seizure of assets as “unlawful”.

Whether the assets are returned will rest on Dotcom’s legal team showing a lack of “good faith” in connection with the blunder. A hearing to decide if the assets will be returned will take place next week.

Source:

Published by Antikas

I'm the site owner, and fellow Geek responsible for all this trouble. I play Minecraft. Sometimes I do other things. Seriously. Mostly, I play Minecraft.

One comment

  1. Antikas ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m not weighing in on the whole morality issue surrounding pirating, or Megauploads seizure and prosecution by the FBI and New Zealand authorities… but I had to repost this article from Torrentfreak, because so far the battle against Megaupload and Kim Dotcom has been pretty one sided. The incompetance in this matter of the New Zealand police blows my mind!

    Incidentally, as far as I know the seizure of his assets was a strategic move to ground him in New Zealand because the FBI was worried he would flee the country should his extradition to the united states be granted.

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