New Zealand Judge: Megaupload Search Warrants Were Illegal

New Zealand police violated the law by allowing the FBI to send copies of seized data to the U.S.
News Jun 28th 2012

Warrants used to seize external hard drives, laptops and phones from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's mansion in January are illegal, a New Zealand High Court judge ruled.

The overly broad warrants allowed for the seizure of a broad category of items, only some of which are relevant to the U.S. charges of criminal conspiracy and copyright infringement, wrote Justice Helen Winkelmann in her judgement.

"The warrants did not adequately describe the offense to which they related," Winkelmann wrote. "Indeed they fell well short of that. They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid."

Winkelmann said she needed to hear from Megaupload and New Zealand government attorneys before proceeding further. A hearing is scheduled for July 4 at 10 a.m. New Zealand government attorneys can appeal.

New Zealand police said in a statement that they "are considering the judgement and are in discussions with Crown Law to determine what further action might be required."