New Zealand Court Orders FBI to Destroy Data Illegally Obtained from Kim Dotcom in Megaupload Case

The court also granted Dotcom full access to all the evidence used against him

By Lucian Parfeni on May 31st, 2013 08:52 GMT
Kim Dotcom still has a long fight ahead of him in the Megaupload case, but he can at least notch one important victory on his belt, as the FBI has to return or destroy all the data it illegally removed from New Zealand.

Also, a court has decided to give Dotcom and his legal team full access to the evidence brought against him in the extradition case.

Dotcom's mansion was raided early last year and the police took off with every computer and server they could find, including the ones containing surveillance videos and Dotcom's personal files.

Now, the FBI and New Zealand authorities have to return everything that isn't relevant to the case.

What's more, the FBI was ordered to destroy any copy of the data it got from New Zealand authorities without the proper legal steps being followed.

The High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann also ruled that the raid on Dotcom's mansion was illegal, since the warrants had been improperly issued. "A miscarriage of justice did result," she wrote in her ruling, something Dotcom quoted for his Twitter followers.

Furthermore, the authorities have to provide Dotcom with copies of the evidence used against him in the US, so that he can mount a proper defense against the extradition hearing.

The US is trying to get Dotcom extradited from New Zealand so he can be served "proper" justice.

The extradition hearing is still scheduled for August. It's been pushed back by a year by now and it may be delayed further, as there's a separate court investigation into the legality of the raid which has to run its course.

Overall, it's a big victory for Dotcom, though he still has plenty of work to do to prove his and Megaupload's innocence, both in New Zealand and in the US if he is eventually extradited.
Dotcom scored an important victory in court
   Dotcom scored an important victory in court
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