Arrested at the beginning of the year for crimes including copyright infringement and wire fraud, Dotcom is fighting for the return of his equipment and possessions seized during the January raid, after the New Zealand High Court recently ruled the search illegal.
According to Bloomberg, 123 items were taken from Dotcom’s mansion, mostly electronic devices such as mobile phones, hard drives, routers and computers. It has since emerged that one of the reasons for the amount of equipment taken, was that the US authorities hadn’t made it clear to the New Zealand police what it was they wanted.
Dotcom estimates that this includes at least 350 hours of his own, personal photo and video collection.
Video footage of the early morning raid has also been released, and it’s eye-opening to say the least, given that it shows a police helicopter arriving at Dotcom’s mansion, a number of heavily armed officers and several police response vehicles all on the scene, which appears a little over the top for a non-violent alleged criminal.
Dotcom has accused the officers of using heavy-handed tactics, which he described as “deliberate force,” during the arrest, despite the fact officers confirmed there was a low-level of threat, and they were primarily interested in stopping any destruction of evidence. This was something Dotcom says he couldn’t do, and that the FBI had already secured Megaupload’s data center prior to the raid anyway.
Kim Dotcom has called the ongoing legal battle a “political thriller,” and as more information becomes available, the general opinion of Dotcom appears to be changing.
Initially a shotgun-toting megalomaniac, then a rich, fun-loving playboy, and now a wronged family man battling against a giant corporation; he has gone from the file-sharing equivalent of Tony Montana to the Internet’s Erin Brockovich in a matter of months.
It’s going to be fascinating to see if evidence appears later to change this back again.
You can see the raid footage, cut together with excerpts from the trial by New Zealand’s 3News, in the YouTube video below.