Video shows armored police assault on MegaUpload mansion

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, August 8, 2012 15:20 EDT
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MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom. Photo: AFP, Michael Bradley.
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Video from a police helicopter used in an armored assault on a mansion owned by MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom was unsealed by a New Zealand court on Wednesday, showing for the first time the heavy-handed SWAT tactics used against a man accused of committing computer crimes.

Police staged the January raid after receiving an extradition request from U.S. prosecutors accusing Dotcom and several of his associates of a “mega conspiracy” to defraud Hollywood and the music industry to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. Police ultimately seized millions from Dotcom’s bank accounts, more than $5 million in luxury vehicles and massive volumes of data, then later claimed that Dotcom had fled officers and taken cover in a panic room, forcing them to cut it open.

That case, however, did not withstand judicial scrutiny and police were dinged for executing the raid based on a bogus warrant. Dotcom has since claimed that police kicked and punched him during the raid; a charge police have denied.

Appearing in court on Wednesday, Dotcom’s lawyers reportedly sought to argue that evidence against him is inadmissible. A judge also agreed to allow portions of a video taken from the raid to be displayed, including footage from one of the two police helicopters used, which was captured in the courtroom by One News New Zealand. Dotcom’s own security camera footage, on the other hand, has mysteriously gone missing.

MegaUpload used to bill itself as a “cyber-locker” that offered blind hosting, enabling users to share whatever they like while also giving copyright holders tools to report and remove infringing content. Dotcom claimed that prior to the raid, MegaUpload had more than 50 million users and was preparing to go public.

This video is from One News in New Zealand, published August 8, 2012.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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