One early January morning, hundreds of New Zealand police armed with guns and acting under orders from the US Department of Justice raided the home of Kim Dotcom, bagging and tagging everything related to alleged massive copyright infringement. 150 terabytes of information was seized, cloned and shipped to the FBI for analysis. It now turns out that the warrants that allowed those raids to take place were actually illegal. Whoops.
The New Zealand High Court has just declared the search warrants that were used to seize everything Kim Dotcom owned and send clones of his hard drives to the FBI were actually issued in contravention of New Zealand law.
Kim Dotcom had all his assets seized in the multi-agency raid designed to take down MegaUpload for alleged copyright infringement and money laundering activities. He and several of his associates who were also raided took the New Zealand Attorney-General to the High Court in an attempt to score some justice. Today they got some.
The High Court ruling handed down by Judge Helen Winkelmann found that the warrants were illegal, as was the shipping of cloned hard drive images to the FBI for analysis.
If you want to read the full 60-page judgment, it's over at the New Zealand High Court's website.
Basically this means that someone is going to be appointed to go through Kim Dotcom's seized assets and return to him that which isn't relevant to the MegaUpload investigation.
Update: Here's the non-statement from the New Zealand Police Service:
Police are considering the judgement and are in discussions with Crown Law to determine what further action might be required. Police will not be making any comment on the judgement until that process is complete.
And here's Kim Dotcom's reaction to the judgment, posted via Instagram. I don't get it either.