Why Are New Zealand Prosecutors Seeking To Suppress All Images & Video Of Megaupload Raid?

from the seems-sketchy dept

As lots of publications are reporting, over in New Zealand, Kim Dotcom took the stand to testify about how the police treated him during the raid on his home as part of the international effort to seize and shut down everything related to Dotcom and Megaupload. I have no idea if the claims he makes of being kicked and punched and the like are accurate. I’m sure his detractors will question how trustworthy the testimony is. Frankly, I have no idea how accurate it is.

But here’s the thing that I find most interesting. Buried all the way at the end of the Stuff article linked above is the following line:

The Crown is seeking for all images and CCTV footage from the raids to be suppressed.

To me, that seems like a point that should be made up top. If Dotcom is being inaccurate in his descriptions, then wouldn’t showing the video and images that prove him wrong basically destroy all of his credibility and help the government with their case? The fact that they’re trying to suppress that very evidence certainly lends credence to his claims, and (at the same time) calls into serious question the conduct of law enforcement during the raid.

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Comments on “Why Are New Zealand Prosecutors Seeking To Suppress All Images & Video Of Megaupload Raid?”

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120 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

a daft question, if you ask me. seems rather obvious why the NZ prosecutors want to stop the release and showing of the video footage. i bet it shows not only the way Kim was treated but a lot of other stuff as well, including who was on the raid with the NZ security. probably shows someone who shouldn’t be there and who has perhaps already denied being any part of the raid. now that would be interesting! if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear! we, the people, get that, so why shouldn’t they?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

That would seem so wrong. The people who wants the laws breaking them? Think of the children, they cannot grow up thinking that these things could happen in democratic countries!
They have to learn how things work in the democratic dream. They will find out about how reality works eventually and prefereably when they are already trapped in a situation they themself want to get out of.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re:

… I totally forgot that…

Wouldn’t it make sense that there would be an MPAA rep similar to how the RIAA is in raids on CDs?

So it makes sense that they want to destroy the tapes and cover up any evidence that MPAA officials were involved in the raid. We already have a list. And NZ has the iiNet scandal to look forward to negotiating. Is it a large stretch that an MPAA official possibly was on scene just in the shadows?

Or could it be that the police are just covering their own tracks when they knew they screwed up?

velox (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

If a MPAA rep was on the scene, that raise the question as to whether the MPAA had a legal right to be there. The MPAA obviously isn’t a law enforcement agency, and presumably would not have been present in an official capacity.
This is speculative, and who knows what NZ law says, but at least under US Law, a third party accompanying law enforcement during the execution of an arrest warrant can be held liable for trespassing. (Wilson v. Layne, 526 U.S. 603 [1999])

fogbugzd (profile) says:

I am curious as to why the Crown would want to suppress things. Either they are guilty, or they just don’t like things that are not under their control. As a general rule of thumb, law enforcement wants to be in control of everything. They probably never thought about the fact that there would be a CCTV network that they did not have control over.

Yogi (user link) says:

Actually the papers left out the most important fact: Kim was updating his Windows machine when the raid happened. So a more accurate headline would have been: “Fat, stupid Windows user busted by anti-terrorist squad”.
Seriously, if he would have been charged with using Windows as his operating system, the US could have put Kim in Guantanamo till hell freezes over and nobody would have cared.

Anonymous Coward says:

Suppressing evidence and controlling what evidence should be used seems to hallmark this case as well as others. The only reason you would really want evidence suppressed is because it doesn’t support your side of the story.

Were there things like ‘protecting identities’ of involved personnel, then they should never have been at the site to begin with.

The whole thing smacks of cover-up, just like the rest of it. I notice to date, no article has shown the US returning the data they got shipped to them from the raid. That too, says a lot by itself on legality.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The only reason you would really want evidence suppressed is because it doesn’t support your side of the story.

Not necessarily. A lot of the time, the authorities try to suppress evidence because it’s embarrassing — not because it disproves their case.

For instance, imagine if the video footage showed a MPAA representative accompanying the police on the raid. Or if it showed a police ‘technology expert’ trying, and failing, to turn on a computer. Or if it showed the police standing around, after the raid, making offensive jokes about the suspects. None of these things would be illegal, per se…just intensely embarrassing to the people involved.

Mark says:

Even more proof that the raid was unnecessary

Found this when looking at some other articles on today’s proceedings.
Apparently Kim had a police officer, who is part of the group that provides security for VIP’s, as part of his security detail. In testimony, he said if he was given search and arrest warrants, he would have given them full access.

This information was given to the raid team beforehand, but they still proceeded to go through with things commando style. Could have made things much easier for everyone, as well as saving taxpayer money. I guess they decided to go for headlines at time (not realizing it would show incompetence later on)

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10825297

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Even more proof that the raid was unnecessary

Simple enough reason to go in guns blazing instead of a polite knocking on the door:

The raid was meant to make a point. That the *AA’s can order the police in any country to drag you out of your home, treat you like an RPG toting terrorist, and do the same to your family at the same time, law be damned.

Doing things legally, or even sanely, wouldn’t have gotten the point across nearly as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

It's reminiscent of the whole "videoing cops" idiocy

The Crown is seeking for all images and CCTV footage from the raids to be suppressed.

Yet we’re constantly being told that surveillance is a good thing “if you’ve got nothing to hide”. Apparently, that only applies in one direction.

Barring a reasonable explanation, it sounds like suppression of the truth – a classic Police State move.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

New Zealand actually has a monarch who has a cast range of around 32,000 miles. She lives in a palace, too!

And apparently she likes jumping out of helicopters with a parachute too. Or so I saw on TV once. Nice lady though, I can understand why you guys hang on to her. Though evil witches can sometimes be nice too, not saying that she is one, just saying they can be nice sometimes.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

well, that and the entire basis for the existence of a legitimate central government falls apart if we get rid of the monarchy.

also: most people don’t care about the monarchy As Such that much so much as they really, REALLY don’t trust the idea of the type of people who can win elections being the ultimate authority on anything.

then there’s the whole ‘moral authority’ thing… a reigning monarch makes it much harder for would-be dictators to amass the personal authority needed to actually take over. legitimacy, ya know?

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I’m a subject not a citizen and I am NOT even conceptually equal to every one in my country purely due to the circumstance of my birth. All this because a god I don’t believe exists apparently hand picked some people to rule over the rest of us because we can’t be trusted to look after our self’s.

It’s insulting deeming and even with the total lack of actual power I find it deeply disturbing that one unelected and uncountable person could technically shut down the elected branch of my government just because of who her parents were.

I have a fundamental and deeply held problem with being subjected to authority and any one who is happy with a monarch even as a figure head is some one I simply can not understand.

I might be a little bit of a republican.

Eponymous Coward (profile) says:

Nothing to see here

Honestly, guys, that’s why we don’t want anyone to see it. The suppressed photo and video evidence absolutely don’t show either A)physical mistreatment of Dotcom or B)peeps who could easily be identified as agents of the US Government.

We just want to save you all the time and effort of going through the evidence only to find out that everything was 100% on the up and up.

Trust us…

Anonymous Coward says:

“Why Are New Zealand Prosecutors Seeking To Suppress All Images & Video Of Megaupload Raid?”

Oh look, Mike is writing another pro-Megaupload, pro-piracy FUD piece.

Oh look, Kim Dotcom likes what Mike writes about him: http://twitter.com/techdirt/status/231442445928394753 & http://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/230991331395268608

That’s so cute how you both adore each other. Why would anyone think that Mike Masnick is a pirate-apologist? That’s crazy!

Oblate (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Hey AC- once the video is released, will you come back and tell us which of the people appearing in the video is you?

It shouldn’t matter if you like Dotcom or not- when the prosecutor tries to suppress potential evidence of a crime, something is very very fishy. If the video shows Dotcom being treated appropriately it would be a win for the prosecution, and there would be no legitimate reason to not show it. Is there a reason to not release the video, other than to cover up some aspect of the raid?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What does this have to do with piracy, pro or otherwise, megaupload, pro or otherwise, and which parts of it are supposed to incite Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt? Be specific.

No, what the article is actually about how the crown is attempting to suppress the footage of the illegal raid.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

What does this have to do with piracy, pro or otherwise, megaupload, pro or otherwise, and which parts of it are supposed to incite Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt? Be specific.

No, what the article is actually about how the crown is attempting to suppress the footage of the illegal raid.

Wow, really? You don’t see how this article is pro-Megaupload FUD? He asks the question, but then makes no attempt to find out what the Crown’s argument actually is for requesting suppression. Maybe it’s a good reason, maybe not. Nor does he explain how the video is even relevant. Is there video of what went down in the safe room when Pirate Kim was tackled? I dunno, and neither does he. It’s classic FUD. Just leave a bunch of doubts hanging there, but ignore relevant facts that bear on the reasonableness of the request.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“He (Mike) asks the question, but then makes no attempt to find out what the Crown’s argument actually is for requesting suppression.”

The government offers no explanation for the suppression.
If they don’t offer it,how does he “make an attempt to find out”?
They obviously don’t want to tell, boy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I read a news report from NZ yesterday that the crown was preparing to make its arguments for continuing the suppression. Your theory is that the crown can just suppress whatever it wants, and it doesn’t have to even make an argument to the court about why there should be suppression? Not too bright, are you? You fit it well around here. Pirate Mike needs nonthinkers like yourself.

MattP says:

Re: Re: Re:

Here’s the helicopter footage and some court testimony. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMas0tWc0sg

I like the part starting at 6:58 where they admit the FBI was there and that even though the threat was so low that they didn’t feel the need for body armor they still felt the need to show force by bringing 2 helicopters and 4 vans both full of officers to storm the house.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“”Why Are New Zealand Prosecutors Seeking To Suppress All Images & Video Of Megaupload Raid?”

Oh look, Mike is writing another pro-Megaupload, pro-piracy FUD piece.

Oh look, Kim Dotcom likes what Mike writes about him: http://twitter.com/techdirt/status/231442445928394753 & http://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/230991331395268608

That’s so cute how you both adore each other. Why would anyone think that Mike Masnick is a pirate-apologist? That’s crazy!”

As has been noted, Masnick is Dotcom’s Mini-Me

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

So then you admit that disclosing the evidence is pro-megaupload. IOW, you admit that disclosing the evidence makes the govt. look bad because the evidence itself makes the government look bad.

Nice to know.

Yes, I want truth, and if the truth makes the government look bad and Megaupload look good then so be it. You, on the other hand, just want whatever makes your position look good irrespective of truth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You want the truth suppressed because you admit that the truth itself is “pro-Megaupload”.

and its you that wants to spread ‘uncertainty an doubt’ by suggesting the videos be suppressed. What we want is certainty which is why we want the videos released. As far as fear, why are the videos being suppressed if the prosecutors have nothing to fear? and how is discussing the suppression of these videos spreading fear? The govt can respond to this alleged fear by simply suppressing the videos?

Oh, and (in the very unlikely event that) if the govt. tries to re-stage another raid with Kim present (unlikely), Kim should be smart to think of something to say that only someone would know well after the raid occurred and to repeat it over and over. For instance, he could repeatedly mention an unpredictable event that occurred well after the raid, perhaps an earthquake, date, and location, or find something more subtle that wouldn’t take as long to say. Make sure he’s looking in the camera while saying it if possible so that cutting off the sound won’t prevent the message from being released.

JMT says:

Re: More From Today's Stuff.co.nz

Wow, there are some shockers in there…

“Information provided to the STG by OFCANZ said Dotcom had access to weapons and was “exhibiting violence”. The file included pictures of Dotcom grinning and holding a shotgun. It also said there was a “reasonable risk of injury or death” to police from Dotcom or those on his property.

Asked if he believed there truly was a risk of death or injury, the sergeant answered “no”. “

That photo if Kim holding a shotgun has been floating around the web for years, before he moved to NZ. How it could an indication of anything is beyond me. If that’s the rational the police are going to use to escalate from ‘a knock on the door’ to ‘tactical assault’, I would be very afraid if I was one of the people featured in the 1,240,000 results you get from typing “grinning holding gun” into Google Images. Even more scary is the 8,710,000 results from “smiling holding gun”!

Lauriel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Does raiding someone’s birthday party shows the full extent of their tactical capabilities? If I were them, I’d be concerned about that too!

I actually can see how the footage could be prejudicial – SWAT teams are aggressive by nature, otherwise they would have taken the civil approach and knocked on the door. Once you’ve got that many people, all on an adrenaline rush, trained to use force to neutralise a target… of course they didn’t walk up to him and say “Excuse me, would you mind coming with us?”

However, it’s only prejudicial because they took an overly aggressive stance with Dotcom in the first place. They would need to show reasonable grounds to believe that the measures they took were justified, IMHO. I really don’t see how they had reason to hit him with that amount of force to begin with.

Beech (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Well, by “prejudicial” my meaning was that it may make the jury feel sympathetic to Dotcom while having nothing to do with the case against him. It would be straight up appeal to emotion. Kim giving unauthorized 1’s and 0’s away has nothing to do with how he was arrested for allegedly doing such. If I get caught jaywalking by a CCTV, then the cops borrow some tanks from the army to surround my house and air drop in from black helicopters and beat me viciously, it doesn’t really change the fact that I jaywalked. It’s totally abominable, unjustifiable, repugnant, and would probably earn me some serious change in a civil suit, but has noting to do with the original charge.

The only real reason I could think of to show the footage is to show that there was interference from a foreign (US) presence. An MPAA stooge being there would go a long way to showing a prejudice by the cops. An MPAA stooge touching a computer could be proof of tampering with the evidence. Same points go for US law enforcement types as well.

However, if Dotcom wanted to file suit against the police, I could see the footage being highly relevant.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

… which makes one wonder why there was even a SWAT team there, as last i knew NZ did not have SWAT.

there is the Armed Offenders Squad, but it fits in differently. (not least in that it has the ability to pick up actual Military Units as subordinate attachments to get it’s job done if needed. … an NZLAV which is quite capable of chewing the building you’re hiding in to bits just to get at you and willing to do so if necessary is a good incentive to surrender, ya know?)

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Upper Darby

Lemme tell you a little story of teenagers that used to like to hang out around 69th st terminal, Upper Darby Pa. UD police regularly would throw us in to paddy wagons, cuffed, unsecured, and would drive like assholes trying to throw us around, then drop us off just outside UD limits and would say now stay out. Guess they didn’t like kids from Philly. Cops are assholes. (There are exceptions, but they are few and far between.)

I dont doubt for a second they beat him. After all he has plenty of cushion to hide blows.

And here is the proof:
The Crown is seeking for all images and CCTV footage from the raids to be suppressed.

Mike is 100% correct to come to the conclusion:
If Dotcom is being inaccurate in his descriptions, then wouldn’t showing the video and images that prove him wrong basically destroy all of his credibility and help the government with their case?

Hiding/Destroying evidence. Hmmm. Where have we seen that before?

anon says:

Romney

This is the problem with politicians they demand evidence is released in the case of Romney seeking the Presidency and then demand the right to hide evidence be hidden in another case. Can we just not admit that relevant information to a situation be released if a crime has been committed or some one is charged with a crime then those responsible must face justice. it is not like it is going to give away national secrets if they used force or had someone there illegally.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Romney

“This is the problem with politicians they demand evidence is released in the case of Romney seeking the Presidency and then demand the right to hide evidence be hidden in another case.”

1) It’s the New Zealand authorities, not American authorities who are suppressing the footage.
2) Romney won’t do as his own father did when HE ran for the Presidency.
What’s he hiding that his father wasn’t?

ChronoFish (profile) says:

Hate to be a party pooper.....but.....

Isn’t this just common sense in any criminal case? I mean is the Crown trying to suppress the footage so it doesn’t get in the public, or are they trying to suppress it as evidence.

If the latter then I would agree with the sentiments that this is BS and only makes the Crown look worse.
Otherwise is this not just a media-gag order?

-CF

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Hate to be a party pooper.....but.....

I’d say they are trying to make sure it is not given to the media, though you also have to remember that this is footage actually owned by DotCom himself and the Crown have really no jurisdiction to place a gag order on photos or film that was taken BEFORE he was formally charged/arrested.

Though there could be a case under Recording Devices legislation if audio was involved (non dissemination other than to parties involved is a normal restriction within these legislations).

If the footage was taken by LEO’s than they have an absolute right to deny the media access to it, though it would still be probative evidence that any defence would require full access too whether it was being used by prosecution or not.

Another reasoning a court might normally allow a release order (gag order) is if it could be shown that it could influence a jury pool one way or another. Impartiality must be shown. Though this ONLY applies to jury trials and in this instance a jury is not used in extradition hearings, or in any of the the other current matters before the NZ courts.

For all those who state the media must be given this data please understand that criminal cases are not always open to the public, and evidence definitely never is. Different country diff rules.

Personally I think this footage will surface no matter what the Crown and courts say.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I’d be surprised if they didn’t beat him down. Let’s see… the mission is to arrest a 6’4 400lb convicted felon who has retreated to a safe room with a gun. Personally, I’d like to see the video to see how big the guy was who took fatboy to the ground.

How much fun would that have been to see?

Pirate Kim whining about his arrest is too funny. Um, don’t hide in the safe room with a loaded shotgun if you don’t want the cops to use force while arresting you. Duh. And maybe don’t pose for pictures like this: http://kimbleblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/cropped-schmitz_kim_megaupload_gun.jpg

LOL! What an idiot. Too bad he didn’t make a move for the shotgun.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Um, don’t hide in the safe room with a loaded shotgun”

Unless I heard POLICE SEARCH WARRANT!!!! I would come out shooting too.

“Pirate Kim whining about his arrest is too funny.”
So you are OK with a good ole boy smackdown huh?

I hope the next time you run a red light you get some good ole boy treatment too. Boots to the head are not just reserved for accused, ACCUSED copyright infringers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Do you not get that the fat fuck (a convicted felon) had to be cut out of a safe room where he was hiding with a loaded shotgun?

Run a red light then high-tail it to a safe room and lock yourself in with a gun and see what happens to an accused, ACCUSED traffic violator. Odds are that you’ll get your candy ass kicked too.

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

OK, OK there fuckface. Let’s just say you have some sort of thing vaguely resembling a point. Now, let’s say we have some video OR we have a couple of selected participants in the raid give some testimony about whether or not the police response was appropriate given the level of risk posed.

Not “AND” but “OR”. What is the fucking point of even asking for opinions from an able bodied law enforcer doing their job when you have fucking video that has the potential to tell you exactly how well they’re doing their job? What’s the point? The point is that subjectivity is multiplied tenfold, hundredfold. My word against yours and you’re a fat fuck (convicted felon) and I’m a sworn upholder of the law is all. I’d listen to me too.

There is nothing that I’ve found that attempts to speak to WHY the video is suppressed, nothing.

Unless you’re a just another pretty fucking ignorant excuse for maximalist you’re playing your hand at simply being pretty fucking ignorant.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You are a moron. But we all know that. And it seems you have a few friends here so rejoice. Now down to business:

the mission is to arrest a 6’4 400lb convicted felon who has retreated to a safe room with a gun

– convicted felon – ah, judge him for mistakes of the past, classic. I’d like you to prove he did anything wrong now. Then we can talk. The law is pretty clear and the United Police States of America could not support any of the charges so far.

– safe with a gun – so you hear your house being torn down by an unknown force. You blissfully wait till they shoot you in the head instead of running for safety, right? Also, if you actually care to read the article you’ll find links that provide the information that Kim did not go for the gun once he realized what was happening precisely to avoid any misunderstandings.

Your comment reaches pretty abyssal levels of fail. If that was your intention then you are doing it right at failing ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I guess that you are too thick to understand that cops prepare to arrest a defendant based on what they know about him. If they go after an 88 year old grandma, they prepare one was. A huge felon known to be armed, another. Are you really so desperate to protect your man crush that don’t understand this?

Anonymous Coward says:

I love how some of the trolls can’t even get on the subject. It’s all personal attack, because they have nothing to say, nothing to demonstrate or speak of, and in all probably don’t have enough IQ to string 5 coherent sentences together on the topic.

It’s the hallmark of someone without enough command of the language to actually express themselves.

I get a lot of smiles per post on some that do get in there and try. But this one particular troll that insists on attacking Mike personally, instead of addressing the topic is beginning to be annoying. I’m about ready to see if he can be dealt with in a manner befitting his status.

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