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Kim Dotcom settles with NZ police over heavy-handed house raid

By | Published on Friday 3 November 2017

Kim Dotcom

MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom has one less legal battle on his mind having settled a lawsuit he pursued against the police in New Zealand over the high profile raid of his home back in 2012, when his former tech business was shut down by the authorities. He says he doesn’t want to put his family through the stress of taking the litigation through to trial.

As much previously reported, the often controversial file-transfer platform MegaUpload was shut down in 2012 after much criticism by the American music and movie industries. Various executives were arrested during the shutdown, most of whom are still fighting extradition to the US where they face criminal charges for money laundering, racketeering and rampant copyright infringement.

There have been various civil lawsuits filed in addition to the criminal charges since the shutdown of MegaUpload. In some cases the defunct company and its former execs are being sued, in other cases Dotcom et al have gone legal themselves.

He sued law enforcement in his adopted country of New Zealand over the way they raided his home as part of the US-led shutdown of his business. He accused police officers of physical attacking him and holding his family at gunpoint when, he argued, they “could have easily knocked at our door at a reasonable hour and advised me of my arrest”.

Dotcom also alleged that the New Zealand police had employed over the top tactics when arresting him and seizing his possessions as part of a “Hollywood-style publicity stunt tailored to appease US authorities”. That was inappropriate behaviour, he argued, hence his legal action against the police.

That lawsuit has now been settled out of court, Dotcom has confirmed. He told reporters earlier today: “We sued the police because we believed their military-style raid on a family with children in a non-violent case went far beyond what a civilised community should expect from its police force”.

Referencing his ex-wife, he went on: “Until recently, Mona and I wanted vindication in the High Court so that those involved would take responsibility for the raid. [But] we have taken time to consider whether a trial would be in the best interests of our family. The New Zealand government has recently changed for the better. Our children are now settled and integrated safely here into their community and they love it. We do not want to relive past events. We do not want to disrupt our children’s new lives”.

The terms of the settlement between Dotcom and the New Zealand police are confidential.

In other MegaUpload news, Dotcom is reportedly requesting that another NZ$1.2 million of seized funds be released to pay for his ongoing living expenses. Millions in cash and property was seized when MegaUpload was shutdown, much of which is still frozen, with the music and movie industries hoping it may be used to pay damages if their copyright infringement lawsuits against Dotcom et al ever get to court.

Dotcom has, unsurprisingly, been trying to get all that money back, and some has been released to fund legal costs and living expenses. The music and movie companies, and the US authorities, have generally opposed the release of frozen assets, though a big chunk of the money was actually seized in Hong Kong where the courts have generally been more open to the MegaUpload founder’s request for funds. Hence the new ask.