Feeds

Appeals court decides Dotcom warrant was legal after all

Decision to disallow evidence reversed. Got that?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A court in New Zealand has ruled that the search warrant used in the arrest of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom was legal, toppling a large part of his defence.

The warrant used to arrest Dotcom at his mansion two years ago, as well as to seize his laptops and hard drives was previously ruled illegal back in June 2012, after a judge decided that the warrants were too vague. But the New Zealand government, acting for the US authorities, has successfully appealed the decision.

"In deciding that the search warrants were valid, the Court of Appeal accepts that they were in form defective in some respects, but the defects were not sufficient to mean that the warrants should be treated as nullities," the court said in a statement.

"Mr Dotcom and the other respondents would have understood the nature and scope of the warrants, especially in light of their arrest warrants, which were not defective, and the explanations given to them by the Police when the properties were searched. In these circumstances no miscarriage of justice occurred."

However, the appeals court did stand behind the earlier decision that sending clones of the seized electronic evidence to the US was outside of prosecutors' authority.

The US wants to see Dotcom extradited to face charges of copyright infringement and piracy. The Department of Justice has said in a filing that Dotcom was the head of "a worldwide criminal enterprise, which operates and administers several internet websites that reproduce and distribute infringing copies of copyrighted works, including motion pictures, television programs, musical recordings, electronic books, images, video games, and other computer software".

Prosecutors have accused the Megaupload site of costing movie studios and music labels more than $500m while making off with over $175m in ill-gotten gains by letting users share and store films and albums.

Dotcom's attorney Ira Rothken tweeted that the legal team was "reviewing the rulings made by the Court of Appeal and will likely seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court". ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.