Friday, June 29, 2012

When New Zealand police set off to arrest Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and three of his staff this past January, they forgot a crucial police procedure: a proper warrant.

New Zealand judge Justice Helen Winkelmann decided Thursday that the warrants New Zealand authorities used for seizing Dotcom’s property  including almost 20 vehicles, computers and pieces of art were illegal, according to Australia’s ABC News.

Justice Winkelmann also declared illegal the warrants used by the FBI to copy Megaupload data and bring it to the U.S.

“The warrants did not adequately describe the offences to which they related,” said Justice Winkelmann in her ruling. “Indeed, they fell well short of that. They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid.”

Dotcom, who’s wanted for extradition to the U.S. to answer for copyright and racketeering charges, welcomed the decision, saying that most people are supporting him in his ongoing legal battle.

“People understand that a service provider like Megaupload should not be liable for actions of their users, for third parties, that’s just wrong,” he said.

New Zealand police are busy figuring out how to proceed.

Dotcom remains in house arrest in New Zealand. He recently returned to Twitter to thank supporters and advertise a soon-to-be-released music discovery service called “Megabox.” Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently paid Dotcom a visit, giving his full support to the embattled Megaupload founder.

U.S. authorities have accused Dotcom and other members of the Megaupload staff to be involved in “the Mega Conspiracy, a worldwide criminal organization whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale.”