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NZ erupts over Dotcom corruption accusations

Megaupload millionaire’s political donations under scrutiny

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As the court cases grind on over Kim Dotcom’s possible extradition and his efforts to regain his computers, New Zealand is now agog at his political donations.

Apparently, when the flamboyant wide boy of the downloading business backed his money truck up to the ACT Party (it stands for the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers), the party didn’t have the sense to close the doors.

Instead, the party may have gone so far as to ask Dotcom to split his $NZ50,000 donation into two $NZ25,000 chunks – a claim made and then retracted by party president Chris Simmons, according to Stuff.co.nz.

Dotcom’s political largesse also included funding a New Year fireworks display in Auckland, buying $NZ10 million worth of government bonds to get preferential residency status – but with his arrest and high-profile court cases, politicians are scrambling to put distance between themselves and the millionaire.

That hasn’t stopped the accusations and speculations flying, with 3TV in New Zealand detailing who among NZ’s parliament and government officials had dealings with Dotcom here.

New Zealand’s opposition has also asked in parliament whether Dotcom arranged – and Banks accepted – a discount on hotel rooms in Hong Kong, a suggestion that has drawn an angry response from Banks, who has challenged the NZ Labour Party’s Trevor Mallard to repeat his allegation outside of parliament (which would expose Mallard to a defamation action).

Dotcom’s legal battles continued on Wednesday May 2, with Dotcom’s lawyers telling the Auckland High Court that the warrants under which his property was seized were too broad. As a result, QC Paul Davidson says, the police took items such as a pool-heating control computer and security camera footage, which had no bearing on their investigation.

According to NZ’s National Business Review, Davidson said “The warrant was unlawful because it was overly broad, and did not distinguish between items that were relevant to the charges, and those that weren’t.” The application for the return of property is to be heard late in May. ®

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