Police don't owe Dotcom, court told

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 12:34 16/04/2013

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Crown lawyers have told a court that the police do not owe internet mogul Kim Dotcom anything further to make up for the illegal raid on his home.

What Dotcom experienced was little different to what any person could expect during the execution of a search warrant, despite the paperwork being incorrect, the crown says.

Lawyers for the Megaupload founder, who is accused of internet piracy and is battling extradition to the United States, are in court today arguing over the fallout from the January 2011 raid on Dotcom's Coatesville mansion.

The raid, requested by the FBI and carried out by the New Zealand police Special Tactics Group, was deemed illegal by the High Court last year, when Justice Helen Winkelmann ruled the warrants authorising it were too general.

Dotcom is now seeking the return of his property that was taken by police, including 19 clones of hard drives that were sent offshore.

The request is being made in a so-called "remedies hearing", after which Justice Winkelmann will decide what "relief" Dotcom deserves, if any.

This morning, crown lawyer Kristy McDonald QC - the third lawyer to take on the case for the crown - said they did not believe further relief was "necessary or appropriate" because Dotcom was not misled by police.

"What would have happened if the warrants had been perfect?" she asked the court.

"There would have been little if any difference in the present case."

McDonald said that at the time of the raid, Dotcom was presented with a search warrant and a charge sheet, so he knew what was happening.

With regard to the electronic devices taken - which Dotcom's lawyers say were removed without any discretion - McDonald said the Search and Surveillance Act now allowed police to collect electronic media even if they were unsure what it contained.

It also allowed for the copying of material, she said, meaning the clones were lawful.

The Search and Surveillance Act was brought in last year, so doesn't cover the Dotcom raid.

The current hearing is not a claim for compensation. That hearing will be held at a separate date, when Dotcom's lawyers hope to put senior police on the stand to quiz them on further details of the raid.

There will also be a separate proceeding for a compensation claim made against the GCSB, which illegally spied on Dotcom prior to his arrest.

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