MegaUpload Founder Seeks Compensation for Illegal Search

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MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom's lawyers appeared in Auckland High Court this week, seeking relief and reparation from the government over what has been deemed an illegal search and seizure of Dotcom's property.

Last week chief High Court judge Justice Helen Winkelmann ruled that the police search of Dotcom's rented Auckland mansion and the seizure of property there, including data shipped offshore to the U.S., was illegal.

Davison says the amount of the compensation being sought has not been discussed yet, but adds that his client wants access to the data and computers seized to assist his defense.

Justice Winkelmann clarified for the court that Dotcom is not seeking to exclude evidence seized from future proceedings.

Dotcom and co-accused Finn Batato and Mathias Ortmann were present in court.

Meanwhile The New Zealand Herald has reported that Dotcom is claiming that the shutdown of MegaUpload was ordered by the White House after Hollywood studio executives met with U.S. vice president Joe Biden. Publicly available White House logs show Biden met with a number of Hollywood executives and the Motion Picture Association's Asia Pacific managing director Mike Ellis.

According to the report, Ellis met with former New Zealand justice minister Simon Power in March last year.

Fighting Extradition

Dotcom's extradition hearing, set for August 6, may be delayed.

Kim Dotcom

This is because Justice Helen Winkelmann's is unavailable on the week of July 23 and it is likely Dotcom's extradition hearing will be pushed out until the legality of the search and seizure has been argued.

Dotcom's New Zealand lawyer Paul Davison argues that the search of the Coatesville property is likely to have "controversial" testimony from the New Zealand Police, which will require substantial cross examination time.

The FBI says it does not have the resources or time to disclose the evidence it has so far seized from Dotcom, with Crown attorney John Pike arguing that under extradition law Dotccom is not required to see the evidence before he sets foot in the U.S.

Speaking outside of the court, Dotcom told the press that he "just wanted access to the evidence" in order to help his defense case. Dotcom went on to say he is frustrated by the US government's attempt to extradite him.

"It is clear that the US government is creating a whole new type of law. They are turning civil law into criminal law to get to me," Dotcom said.

He also told reporters that he is planning on creating a website that will provide further information on the alleged involvement of U.S. vice president Joe Biden. He would not openly comment about allegations regarding vice president Joe Biden being the one who set the raids in progress but did say he suspected "powerful people" were working in conjunction with copyright holders to pursue the matter.

This story, "MegaUpload Founder Seeks Compensation for Illegal Search" was originally published by Computerworld New Zealand.

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