New Zealand’s Highest Court Rules the MegaUpload Seizure ‘Null & Void’

Looks like there’s one hell of a devil lingering in the details.

According to a Friday opinion by New Zealand’s highest court, a simple procedural error could force the feds to return all of Kim Dotcom’s seized belongings.  That is, roughly $200 million worth of luxury automobiles, overpriced furniture, and life-sized giraffe sculptures.  Justice Judith Potter ruled the restraining order to be “null and void” and having “no legal effect,” based on apparently sloppy paperwork.  The development was first reported by the New Zealand Herald.

The issue revolves around what specific type or restraining order was filed against Dotcom, and Potter says the wrong type was submitted and approved.  As a result, Dotcom did not have an opportunity to appeal the ruling in court.  In fact, the Herald reports that police commissioner Peter Marshall and advisors at the Crown Law Office have admitted making a ‘procedural error’ in its massive raid, and subsequently attempted to file the right paperwork – that is, after the raid had already occurred.

That was approved, and the courts could cut the feds some slack and let the raid stand.  Otherwise, Dotcom gets his stuff back, and MegaUpload lawyers could be preparing a dogfight over this.  Earlier, Dotcom won the right to post bail, though winning a reversal could hinge on whether prosecutors can prove an absence of good faith (sounds tough).

The question now is how much damage this generates for the broader MegaUpload case.  Dotcom doesn’t get his site back, and US officials are moving to extradite the flamboyant mogul to the US for trial.  But this is an embarrasing miss, especially if Dotcom goes back to princely living.

3 Responses

  1. hank alrich

    Is it too much to ask that law enforcement be competent?

  2. Tyler

    The title of the article is misleading. This has nothing to do with the seizing of MegaUpload’s servers and logs, but with Kim Dot Com’s access to his Mercedes “Grooveshark” Benz fleet.

  3. Poor mafia boss

    Kim Dotcom actually had the nerve to say to court that he can’t live without his servants, so he needs some money from his accounts to be released, to pay for them.