Police called 111 for Dotcom's pregnant wife

KIRSTY JOHNSTON AND IAN STEWARD
Last updated 11:02 09/08/2012

Aerial footage shows police surveying the Dotcom mansion from a helicopter ahead of the January 2012 raid.

Kim Dotcom
Reuters
MEGAEXIT: Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom leaves the High Court in Auckland on August 7.

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Kim Dotcom's pregnant wife was prevented from calling for medical help on the day of the raids on her Auckland home because police had seized the phone lines, a court has heard.

Pregnant with twins, Mona Dotcom believed she was experiencing contractions and wanted to call a doctor following her husband's dramatic arrest but was unable to, defence lawyer Paul Davison said this morning.

The evidence was presented at a three-day hearing at the High Court in Auckland into the police raid at Dotcom's home in January.

Search warrants issued for the raid were ruled illegal by Justice Helen Winkelmann and lawyers are now going over what happened to determine what can legally be done to remedy the situation for Dotcom.

Today, Davison said all communications, including Mrs Dotcom's mobile phone were seized by police during the raid. The cars were also seized, leaving the family without transportation.

Instead, Mrs Dotcom had to rely on police officers to help her. Eventually, Davison said, they dialled 111 for an ambulance.

In cross examining Detective Sergeant Steve Humphreys, the officer in charge of executing the search warrant, Davison put it to him: "That's a fairly poor level of response in terms of Mrs Dotcom. That all police could do was facilitate a 111 call."

Humphreys said police officers were not medical staff and were not equipped to deal with medical emergencies.

"You had seized communications. Seized her cell phone. Seized cars that would enable staff to assist her. You had hold of all vital aspects of communication and transport and all you were doing was facilitating a 111 call. That's a pathetic response from police officers... What do you say to that?" Davison said.

Humphreys said if there was a situation where Mrs Dotcom was in medical trouble then "anything that could have been done would have been done".  

Davison then asked: "How did you know it wasn't urgent?"

Humphreys said he first became aware of the situation when another officer called to say police had been going to take Mrs Dotcom to hospital in a private car, but they decided to call an ambulance instead.

Davison pointed out that police weren't unaware of the potential issues with Mrs Dotcom's pregnancy, because they had appointed welfare officers to look after her on the day of the raids.

FIGHT TO KEEP POLICE SECRETS

The Crown has lodged an urgent appeal to ensure details about New Zealand's elite police team are kept secret.

Part of the heavy suppression surrounding the movements of the Special Tactics Group was lifted by Justice Winkelmann at the hearing yesterday.

Winkelmann ruled documents, including the police checklist used to determine if Dotcom was a dangerous subject, could be made public.

However, the Crown announced this morning it would appeal this decision.

The Crown has said police believe that making details public would compromise their operational capability.

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It was also revealed that part of the suppression was breached last night.

A promo for TV3's Campbell Live show included STG call signs, which were not allowed to be broadcast.

Justice Winkelmann said the suppression breach will be referred to the Solicitor-General.

An appeal hearing will be held in the next day or two.

US authorities claim Dotcom and his three co-accused - Mathias Ortmann, Fin Batato and Bram van der Kolk - used the Megaupload website and its affiliated sites to knowingly make money from pirated movies and games.

They are facing copyright infringement and money laundering charges, and extradition from New Zealand.

- Auckland Now

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