A New Zealand news outlet has released video footage of the controversial police raid of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom showing multiple helicopters and several police vehicles converging on his mansion.
A reporter for 3news, which published a video containing footage of the operation interspersed with trial testimony, noted that the video “generally” corroborates accounts of the incident given by both police and Dotcom himself.
Law enforcement officials apprehended Dotcom in Auckland, New Zealand, during a raid in January. The FBI also simultanteously shut down the download service on charges of criminal copyright infringement.
However, in June, the New Zealand high court ruled that search warrants for the raid were invalid.
The video shows a helicopter with members of the “Elite Special Tactics Group” landing at Dotcom’s mansion early on the morning of the 20th. Seconds after the helicopter touched down, ground forces arrived.
According to 3news, it took 13 minutes for the police to find Dotcom in the “Red Room” of his mansion. Dotcom has testified that he was punched, kicked, kneed and otherwise treated unfairly during his arrest. An unnamed elite police officer reportedly testified that “deliberate force” was applied to Dotcom.
Narrating the video, the reporter called the police presence, which included semi-automatic weapons, a “significant show of force.”
However, police testimony claims that it assessed the threat situation as “low” and its primary objective was to prevent Dotcom from destroying any evidence.
For his part, Dotcom asserts that agents knew that there was no evidence for him to destroy since the FBI had already gained access to Megaupload’s data center.
“Prior to you arriving and doing what you did, there was no chance for anybody to do anything with that evidence,” he testified.
In July, Dotcom accused US Vice President Joe Biden of ordering the takedown of Megaupload.Dotcom was released on bail in February. An extradition hearing regarding his proposed transfer from New Zealand to the US has been pushed back from this month to March 2013.
We’ll continue watching for updates to the case. After all, Dotcom himself may have put it best when he said that this whole case is “quite the political thriller.”
Image via USA Today
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