Video of Kim Dotcom’s arrest for copyright infringement and the operation behind it, has appeared as part of the ongoing trial of the Megaupload owner. Filmed from the undercarriage of the first helicopter to arrive on the scene, as well as one of Dotcom’s own security cameras on the grounds, the footage clearly shows officers raiding the property while sporting semi-automatic carbines.
Throughout the trial, Mr Dotcom has claimed that not only were the warrants and charges issued against him invalid, but that excessive force was used in his arrest. This video seems to shine some light on that theory.
From the beginning of the video, the first helicopter – and the one responsible for a portion of the film – touches down at the Dotcom property and discharges several officers of the Special Tactics Group, armed with what is described by one officer as a “Glock pistol”, spare magazines and the CAR-15 Colt Commando carbine. He however did say that full tactical gear wasn’t worn, because this raid, was seen as a low threat.
The chopper than takes off, flying over the expansive grounds, but we’re able to see in the background several police vans arriving with more officers aboard. It’s then pointed out that the reason for the helicopter in the first place, was because it was claimed Mr Dotcom’s staff would have stopped any approaching police vehicles. Evidently that wasn’t the case.
This bit of footage is interspersed with Mr Dotcom describing his arrest: how he initially hid in the panic room (known in the video as the “Red Room”) after alerting his security staff to the raid. At this point he describes it only as having heard a loud banging at his door and the noise of stones hitting the shades on his windows as they were kicked up the by the helicopter.
When he is eventually found by the officers – after his pregnant wife, three children, some friends and several members of staff were also detained – he describes being punched in the face, kicked in the back and kneed in the ribs, as well as someone standing on his hands during his arrest.
As the footage proceeds, we see four more police vehicles arrive, a second helicopter, more officers from the Special Tactics Unit and even a dog squad. The FBI were also said to be looking over the proceedings, though weren’t present during the raid.
The reason given for such a show of force and such an aggressive raid, was because it was thought that Mr Dotcom might try and destroy evidence if given the time to do so. However when under questioning, Dotcom said that the FBI had already seized all of his company’s servers and this should have been well known by the New Zealand authorities.
KitGuru Says: The show of force in the video does seem incredibly excessive, for what is essentially, the arrest of an out of shape nerd. Dotcom was never going to put up a fight against tactical officers, so why the need for all the weaponry and officers – and undoubtedly high public expenditure? With the trial ongoing, it seems like more may come to light as it continues.