Police: Dotcom raid was a 'success'
The police officer in charge of the Dotcom mansion raid told the High Court today the operation was a success.
Search warrants issued for the January 20 raid at the Coatesville property were previously ruled illegal by Justice Helen Winkelmann and lawyers are now analysing what happened to determine what can legally be done to remedy the situation for Kim Dotcom.
Despite the legality of the situation, Organised Financial Crime Agency New Zealand (OFCANZ) boss Grant Wormald said the Special Tactics Group (STG), some of whom arrived in a helicopter, completed the raid as planned.
"We had to take him into custody and that's what we did," he said.
Dotcom's counsel Paul Davison, QC, said they had a duty to do so with the least intrusion possible.
"That's what we did," Wormald replied, which provoked amusement amongst Dotcom and his supporters.
Dotcom is seeking to have all seized evidence irrelevant to the case against him returned to him. 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.
He is facing copyright infringement and money laundering charges.
Davison suggested the entry to the mansion was heavy handed and based on false information or perceptions of his client.
Dotcom was painted as a "gangster" who disrespected police and he suggested they were unable to let go of that view even though Dotcom had willingly invited community constables into his home.
One constable liaised with the STG, who organised for him to enter the mansion while carrying a tiny camera hidden inside a pen, the day before the raid.
The footage will be played to the court this afternoon but Wormald admitted it would be the first time he had seen it.
A top-secret "blue book" of evidence relating to the raid was suppressed earlier this week at the crown's request.
Police believed the activity of their elite unit may be compromised if it came under the spotlight but this afternoon crown lawyer John Pike said they were abandoning part of the suppression, with 25 pages able to be released to media.
The hearing is expected to conclude today.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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