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Political questions raised over Dotcom’s residency

Saturday 21 Jan 2012 5:47 p.m.

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By Adam Hollingworth

Police have completed their search of the Dotcom Mansion in Coatesville after the arrest of the Megaupload kingpins -- taking computers, documents, luxury cars and artwork.

Now a political row is brewing over the decision to grant residency to Kim Dotcom, the boss of the file-sharing website who is in prison awaiting a bail hearing.

 As the founder of Megaupload, Dotcom has spent his 38th birthday behind bars, and plans for a big bash at the Chrisco mansion in Coatesville are on hold.

This morning, all was quiet at the house – and there was no chance of talking to anyone inside but others in the Megaupload empire were trying to restore the file-sharing platform which claims to have captured four percent of all internet traffic,

Lawyers were insistent they had done nothing wrong.

Since the raid yesterday, more details have emerged of what happened with Police saying that when they arrived in two helicopters, Dotcom retreated into an electronically locked panic room which officers had to cut their way into.

Who is Kim Dotcom?

Read the story about the dramatic arrest

Police say they found him near a firearm that looked like a shortened shotgun when they entered the room.

Police searched the mansion until midnight, taking away assets, including luxury cars with number plates that included stoned, hacker, police and mafia.

During the case, the items become property of the official assignee and four FBI officers will remain here while Police prepare for Monday's court case.

Already, however, questions are being raised about the decision to give Kim Dotcom residency in 2010.

Dotcom came in under the investor plus category - meaning he agreed to invest $10 million in New Zealand Government bonds for three years - and despite two-year probation sentences for embezzlement and insider trading within the previous ten years he was let into the country.

His entry to the country has raised questions about millionaires being able to buy their way into residency in New Zealand.

In a statement the Immigration Service said that “Mr Dotcom made full disclosure of his previous convictions and they were taken into account in the granting of his residence.

 “The Immigration Act allows for discretion to be exercised in certain cases. In this particular case Immigration NZ weighed the character issue and any associated risk to New Zealand against potential benefits to New Zealand.”

The Government has confirmed no minister was involved in the decision, but the Labour Party will insists that given the risks involved one should have been.

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