Police messed up seizing Dotcom's assets

Kiwi coppers applied for the wrong court order when they seized Kim Dotcom and now it looks like the New Zealand government may be required to return his belongings.

New Zealand police were so keen to roll over to Big Content and arrest Kim Dotcom that they made a procedural error prior in seizing property belonging to the MegaUpload founder.

Police arrested DotCom at the mansion he lived in outside Auckland on January 19 at the request of the United States government.

Acting as the official police force of the movie studios, the US Department of Justice claims that DotCom is the mastermind of a criminal enterprise designed to help the masses pirate music and movies.

After the raid on DotCom’s home, police were photographed removing cash, Cadillacs, jet skis, artwork and scores of other valuables from his home. They shut down the MegaUpload site and threw DotCom into jail, where he stayed until being released on bail a month later.

The problem was that they filed for the wrong kind of restraining order. They thought that they should have gone for the type that didn’t allow for DotCom to have a court hearing prior to the seizure.  In fact the court thinks that it was acceptable for him to have had a day in court first.  After all they could have arrested him and then had the hearing.

According to the New Zealand Herald, a court has now ruled that the restraining order that enabled police to seize his assets is “null and void.”

The New Zealand attorney general will now have to review a catalogue of mistakes relating to the arrest.

While there is still little chance that DotCom will win, now all his lawyers will have to do is prove that the cops acted without good faith when the procedural error was made. This might come down to simply rushing to convict a man on the US government’s say so, believing that he must be guilty because the US Feds say so. This is something that the NZ judiciary might take a dim view of. Already they have let DotCom out on bail – something that the US did not want.