Police defend Dotcom raid tactics
Thu, 09 Aug 2012 6:22p.m.
By Ingrid Hipkiss
Police have defended their use of armed officers and helicopters in the raid on the Dotcom mansion.
The crown is trying to over-turn a decision that search warrants used in the raid were invalid.
While coming up with their plan of action, ahead of the January raid, police saw YouTube clips and pictures which they believed were evidence that Kim Dotcom was armed and able to make a high speed getaway.
Detective Inspector Grant Wormald of the Organised and Financial Crime Agency says he was certain that an armed response was necessary.
“I was left in no doubt armed police capability was required to safely meet our objectives.”
Mr Wormald says the country's most highly trained and heavily armed officers were the best way to deal with security guards and to maintain the element of surprise.
Police also feared Dotcom could destroy crucial digital evidence with a few clicks of a mouse.
But Dotcom's lawyer Paul Davison says there was no reason to believe his client wouldn't co-operate.
Police were no strangers to the property – a community constable had even been given a guided tour of the property days prior to the raid.
Mr Wormald admitted in court today that this indicated an attitude of willing co-operation with police.
Mr Davison has also slammed the way police treated Dotcom's wife Mona, who was pregnant with twins at the time of the raid.
When she complained of contractions she was told to call an ambulance. However Detective Sergeant Steve Humphries denies that was an inappropriate response.
“I don't think it was a poor response at all. We're not medical staff, we're police officers. If it was an emergency an ambulance was appropriate, not a police car,” he says.
Police were aware they could be accused of being overzealous in the raid, but Mr Wormald says that wasn't a good enough reason not to proceed as planned.
It’s now up to the High Court to determine if they got it right.
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5/09/2012 9:42:49 p.m.
7 calendar months, 2 weeks plus 2 days. I think the loss of income is about $33300000 based on the previous 12 months. Around a million a week turnover. It would make a bit of a dent in the Commissioner's budget if he did have to cough-up a claim
5/09/2012 11:16:56 a.m.
Judge McNaughton's behaviour was "significantly less courteous, patient and tolerant than may reasonably have been expected of a judge". Sir David said he would refer his finding to Chief District Court Judge, Jan-Marie Doogue. He said it could be a chance to reinforce to judges "the significance of the courts being open to the media and public generally". (Herald) Jan-Marie must have misplaced Sir David's report because after 8 months and a week of trying I haven't been able to see Judge McNaughton's reasoning behind the reasonable belief he formed that there were extradition offences to be sanctioned, or the reasons for the ex parte urgency in ordering helicopters and all. Open to the public, sure. Bluff the public and kill a company
11/08/2012 10:05:27 p.m.
@ mike: Kim Dotcom offered to extradite himself, wanted bail and funds unfrozen to pay for living / lawyers. Your first argument is wrong.
Kim Dotcom put a "anti-piracy" feature into his website that gave other companies direct access to remove links, without having to send a takedown notice: This exceeds the rights that protects website owners from illegal material being put onto their website by its users.
Your second point is invalid.
Megaupload was never formally served with papers: How exactly did it have 3 years of warnings?
Most importantly: Kim Dotcom is not a stupid guy. If megaupload was an illegal website: Dont you think he would try and fly under the radar, instead of doing the complete opposite of that?
This is all a show, all put on by the FBI/DOJ and I hope Kim Dotcom gets his time in court: proves his innocence, gets the FBI to admit their wrong doings plus make them pay him damages.... Including interest.
11/08/2012 12:40:41 p.m.
I just realized that I made a mistake. Mike you are so right. We don't need warrants to burst into peoples houses. We don't need to ask the boss for permission to take along an arsenal. Plus, he lets us do whatever we want so we can take a couple of helicopters for a joyride too. We can frighten the hell out of the lady of the house and tell her to call an ambulance herself if she can get a phone back from one of us. We can demolish a dumb waiter for 10 minutes while the conspirator completes his windows update and installs the kill the servers program. And then we'll give him a taste of justice, our style, 'cause Uncle Sam said he pinched something.
By the way I was also wrong when I tried to explain things last time. Proof is required, not of the extradition country's charges but of the NZ equivalents. So what the lawyer is basing his appeal of Judge Harvey's directions on, God knows. But he was there on the day, watching and advising and knowing full well that it was totally against the law not to have served Willie Akel and the conspirators
11/08/2012 12:37:43 p.m.
BLOW TORCH wrote:
But wait! the claims US are making against Dotcom is the file sharing websites, criminal copyright infringement, money laundering, and racketeering. Can you specify which part of the law was broken by Dotcom when he wasn't copying anything, just providing storage and links for data supplied by customers. It would have been illegal for him to even look at customers' data for obvious privacy reasons and impossible to police every file coming through at high volumes and speed.. So in fact the customers supplying the data have broken the law, as the legitimate owners of any copyright material had access to the site and COULD and DID remove UNAUTHORIZED files and that Dotcom had himself covered under his terms and conditions, besides he was protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. U.S. Megaupload certainly filled a gap in the niche market and what‘s wrong with that??. It's the same reason why people send large files, photos & video uploads via Facebook, Youtube, Google, Bebo and other file sharing sites, as email would not be able to handle the file size. Yes I agree police all over the world should help each other keep crime down, but not over the top raid like they did to Dotcom’s household.
Refer to the pathetic and police reasoning - Det Insp Wormald told the court that the members of the STG "were the best people for the job". **Huh! because ordinary police officers might shoot the occupants, neighbours and courier drivers**
The STG was able to ensure that the arrests were made quickly and that the evidence was secured safely and efficiently, Det Insp Wormald said. ** weren’t the STG already told by that time the FBI had already disabled access to the Megaupload servers??**
A number of risks had been identified, including the possibility that there were firearms on the property, and it was felt that the involvement of the STG could overcome a lot of the problems police faced ** Almost certain, Dotcom hired trained and disciplined bodyguards and why would he and his bodyguards try to take on 29 or more police officers, risking their lives and those of his entire household and neighbours**
Mike you are sad and pathetic like the police and a small number of Kiwis who believe in criminalizing by media before found guilty
11/08/2012 7:29:29 a.m.
Come on Dennis. Under NZ copyright law if someone is involved in distribution they can face up to 5 years. Megauploads conduct can easily be argued to help facilitate distribution of illegal content even under NZ law. Thats enough for extradition there without going into any other charges. Again, we dont need to prove the case, just for there to be enough for a case. This whole thing is stalling by a well financed defence. No doubt the finances of the defence are also being tracked for later use in the US. Sure some accounts were frozen, but NZ has never seen so much spent on defence against extradiction before. We are not talking about clients of megaupload distrubuting illegal stuff, we are talking about megauploads involvement by its own employees. Now in NZ companies are responsible for employees actions, as directors are also responsible for the company - eg the jail time for Hanover directors recently.Will US courts hold the case is valid? Thats up to the US courts not our media circus.What we have is stalling by dotcom trying to make it a trail of NZ vs face the charges in the US. Dotcom could get the whole thing over and done with quickly if he wanted, but he feels that the US have enough to convict him with a jury in the US, so instead this stalling trying to make it a trial here in NZ without the US evidence. NZ police can never win, as they have never charged dotcom with any NZ crime! Then again the murderer I mentioned couldn't have been charged for murder in the US either, hence the US sent them back to NZ for justice.Why all this bullshit about the raid by dotcom? Its plain and simple avoid the issues and try to make it such a circus that the extradiction is forgotten. There was an accident yesterday in the news which had 11 police vehicles attend - obviously the police used excessive force sending 11 vehicles!
10/08/2012 8:48:15 p.m.
First paragraph. There need be 1, not 20, verifiable (bonafide) charge, not proved and it can be committed in NZ and the penalty in NZ is a year+. The "rap sheet" has nothing to do with it.
That's what I said. How did you read different? And that is real. Paragraph 2 I was referring you to section 4. It doesn't say "a crime". It says "the conduct, or equivalent conduct" constituting an offence under NZ law. The only such crime from the Megaupload indictment is "conspiring to commit money laundering". Third paragraph "driving recklessly causing injury or death" are both absolutely extraditable. Fourth paragraph twice you have avoided my question. Which section of criminal liability under NZ law does Megaupload's alleged offending fall into? If you say it is "distributing an object" then our own Crown lawyer has claimed that cloned data is not an object in attempting to justify taking data to the USA when told not to by the Judge. Now before you race off with that it does not mean that it is now an object. It just means that the data's safe keeping was violated. If you care to see what Judge Harvey has said you will find it at Kim.com under 1 of 10 points listed. No, it is not necessary to prove guilt. But, as I said, and you keep talking down, there is no copyright charge in NZ applicable to this matter. Because the would-be conspiracy to launder money relies on the need of a NZ equivalent charge of copyright infringement to occur its application is spurious. At this point there are no funds gained from criminal endeavor. There is no basis to this charge. Fraud by wire and racketeering I don't think could be charged in NZ. But what we do have, and they qualify for extradition this way is "fabricating evidence" by referring to accused as a mega-conspiracy (7 years) and "conspiring to bring false accusation" (14 years)
10/08/2012 5:33:18 p.m.
Hi Mike. The silence couldn't be that you're questioning that perhaps, without Andie, Mayberry needs to be real careful who it elects for mayor?
10/08/2012 5:16:01 p.m.
So now your saying that if a criminal has a rap sheet 20 pages long, and NZ doesn't have an equivilent law in NZ for every crime for the whole 20 pages, that the criminal should go free? Get real!The extradition act requires 'a crime' that under NZ law could see 12 months or more as a sentence. Go through the extradition list and you can find more than 12 months jail easily between all the charges listed. This is actually quite a minor requirement and many of things listed have equivilent penalties under NZ law exceeding 12 months jail terms. If someone was carless driving in the US, that would be enough for an extradition, as under NZ law careless driving allows up to 3 years in jail - ie a very low threshold for extradition. I think a speeding ticket over 30 kph over the speed limit starts getting into careless driving? Just saying the level to extradite is very low.NZ copyright law allows up to 5 years jail for distribution, and megaupload copyright breaches (not clients of megaupload) fit that. That the US also holds Megaupload responsible to police its content to reduce US copyright infringements while NZ law is still not updated to cover this doesn't change the fact that there are enough other charges to extradict. Nowhere does it say NZ has to prove a criminal is guilty before extradicted either, just that the charges if found guilty in NZ could see sentences of 12 months or more. If you dont like our law, ask government to change it!The only place to have dotcom fight this is in court in the US, not the media here. If he wants it over faster, then his best bet is to chose voluntary indictment and go to the US voluntarily, and go through the courts.But his problem with that is even he feels he is guilty of braking the US laws regardless of his media claims here. Megauploads bad taste campaign advertising about not checking content put them at the top of the list to be targeted, and only megaupload was responsible for that.
10/08/2012 3:03:25 p.m.
Did you read the whole section? It must have a New Zealand equivalent offence to qualify for the extradition. Which sub-subsection or subsection of s131 Copyright Act applies to Megaupload? Can you find an offence equivalent to "racketeering" in the Crimes Act? Has anyone connected with Megaupload ever been convicted of a felony in the US, particularly to do with copyright ownership? So where is all this dirty money? Have I left anything out?
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