Kim Dotcom seizures ‘null and void’
In an astonishing blunder, New Zealand’s Crown Law Office and its police commissioner have admitted to a ‘procedural error’ when they seized cash, cars and other property from Megaupload chief Kim Dotcom.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Justice Judith Potter of the High Court has declared the first restraining order under which the seizures were made to be “null and void” and having “no legal effect”.
The slip-up happened when the police applied for the seizure of Megaupload assets during January, and was discovered within the week, with police making a revised application on January 30. However, the approach taken by NZ Police and the Crown Law Office had denied Dotcom a chance to mount a defense, the judge said.
The blog Talkleft has noted that the mistake was made despite NZ Police boasting that a team of five from the OFCANZ (New Zealand’s organized crime agency) had worked on the case, up to and including the seizures, hand-in-hand with the FBI.
Radio New Zealand reports that during the next week, Justice Potter will hold another hearing to decide whether or not the assets should be returned. ®