Feeds

Appeals court decides Dotcom warrant was legal after all

Decision to disallow evidence reversed. Got that?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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". ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.