We’ve already seen that the claims made by law enforcement in the indictment against Megaupload has raised significant legal questions, as they seemed to assume all sorts of things not necessarily factually-based. Part of that overreach resulted in a New Zealand judge granting Kim Dotcom bail despite US authorities insisting that the court keep him locked up. Now things are getting even worse, as a court has declared the restraining order issued in the case as “null and void” and having “no legal effect” after law enforcement admitted to making a significant series of procedural errors. The end result may mean that everything seized from Dotcom — including his money, cars and other goods… may need to be returned.
The police apparently realized this and tried to apply for the proper restraining order after the fact, explaining to the judge that they had made five specific errors in the initial application. The judge is now figuring out what to do and whether or not this means that the government needs to return Dotcom’s property. Of course, there’s a good chance that the judge will allow the government to continue to hold the property and admit merely that “mistakes were made” and that they’ve now been corrected. However, given how many mistakes we’ve already seen in this case — and the apparent carelessness with which so much of it happened — it leads you to wonder how many other “errors” or shortcuts law enforcement in both New Zealand and the US took in bringing this case forward.
It’s no secret that Dotcom’s larger-than-life persona has been an easy target in the attacks on Megaupload, but it’s beginning to appear that law enforcement assumed that just because the guy is an obnoxious show-off with a criminal past that it didn’t need to actually follow all the rules in bringing a case against him this time. That’s not how the judicial system is supposed to work.