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Megaupload Seizure Order “Null and Void” Says High Court (torrentfreak.com)
171 points by llambda on Mar 18, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments

Kim Dotcom's personal asset seizure null and void. Not the seizure of Megaupload assets. This really has very little bearing on the Megaupload case as a whole.

"This really has very little bearing on the Megaupload case as a whole."

Not exactly true. It would allow Dotcom to have more funds for a proper defense. This sort of stuff shouldn't even happen before you actually get charged as guilty. This is why I never really liked the "OPEN Act" alternative to SOPA either. Sites shouldn't get their funds seized and cut off before they even get a chance to defend themselves.

Unless it may reflect an overall careless (or worse, abusive) attitude by the various prosecution teams. This is a tough case, involving many jurisdictions and different civil, criminal and process law and, worse of all, driven by economic pressure by companies that are being questioned on many levels for using law enforcement as thugs, as well as other shady business practices.

If they want to win this case, they'd better do all their homework flawlessly, dot all i's and cross all t's. If they don't, it will set a precedent that will frame future cases like this.

And there will be many more of them.

An error has been made and is now beeing admitted. A good sign for a working jurisdiction imo.

While companies may be questioned I much more question the ethics of this kim distributing copyrighted material without compensating the authors and then buying ferraris instead. Not a role model I'd like to prevail.

Unless you happen to know, factually, that he is guilty (and perhaps therefore a witness in the trial?) this is exactly the kind of thing that shouldn't happen before a verdict has been handed down. Kim's personality has little to do with how the law should be applied.

Even very nasty people have the right to due process, fair trial and opportunity to mount a defense. In the nastiness scale, Kim barely registers.

Why is this being downvoted? It's not the popular view in these parts but it's a legitimate one and did not strike me as trolling.

I believe people disagree with him and downvoting has replaced discussion in many cases. You may downvote a comment that's plain wrong, but you shouldn't do it if someone else already countered the argument.

"Rather than applying for an interim restraining order, the Police Commissioner applied for a foreign restraining order instead, one which did not give Dotcom a chance to mount a defense."

This makes a case for the mistake being deliberate, since it may have given the police the element of surprise or let them move quicker on the seizures.

This is great news. Seizure laws are terrible. The ability of a government to destroy a business without due process should not be permitted (especially a foreign government). It's unfortunate that the ruling is based on a technicality.

I get what you're saying, but imagine that someone stole your TV, and the police found the guy, but they didn't get your TV back because the courts hadn't convicted the perpetrator yet. They should at least hold the assets in escrow until a resolution is reached, otherwise people could just spend / destroy the assets. Many courts will require a perpetrator to pay restitution in cases where a victim is financially harmed, but in this case there's nobody to pay back, just millions of dollars to blow before an inevitable conviction.

Original story: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5...

Let's hope it's struck down but I'm going to guess they'll hold up the proper order under pressure from the US.

There is already a thread on this on the front page: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3718922

So there is a police guy who doesn't know how to do his job meeting a judge who doesn't know how to do his job, and all on a case that gets world wide, front page press coverage. Talk about bad luck.

Bad luck... or evidence of officials being systematically bad at their jobs.

The first order is void. The validity of the second order (that corrected the original issue) is still up for debate (if I read this correctly).

This is a totally off topic but are those legal terms or that 2012 is code year?

"The blunder, which occurred because the police applied for the wrong type of court order..."

Blunder my ass, sounds like abuse of power that, against the police hopes, ended up being checked.

I'm skeptical that they could have deliberately done something wrong just hoping it wouldn't get noticed. This is a very high-profile case; they would be expecting a lot scrutiny.

I think it's obvious they did it. They needed an interim restraining order but benefited from a foreign restraining order that caught the defendant by surprise. They then raise the issue to imply it was a mistake made in good faith before the defense team can assemble a different story.

In any case, the prosecution should never be allowed to benefit from a process blunder that harms the defendant's ability to defend himself. If it's allowed, all sort of abuses will be committed "in good faith" only to be later "corrected" by such a half-hearted apology.

Richard Nixon would like a word with you.

unfortunately, not necessarily. I think they wouldnt care how high profile the case is. Even it its the mount everest case and it will be clear that X fucked up, knowing how the world of law enforcement works (cops dont tell on each other), there would be no consequences whatsoever. IF media would hung for too long on this issue, they may move X to a different position, temporarily, but rest assure it was definitely worth for cops to take a "risk".

I think the chose that type of warrant on purpose and they were hoping it would be "good enough" to do what they were planning.

Plus the guy can afford the very best of legal counsel. Any holes in the case are sure to get found and exploited.

All his money has been seized. He might not get it back. Some countries separate out the mis-handling of a case form the actual case.

"Fruit of the poison tree"[1] doesn't hold in the UK, for example.

[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_of_the_poisonous_tree)

I was assuming he'd be taking on counsel on a contingency basis - the fee would have to be very high to account for the risk, but I don't see why that wouldn't be workable.

Also, it would be pretty hard to seize all the assets of someone worth hundreds of millions.

Google couldnt find anything to prove this to me, but if its true then how the country can properly function (UK) if cops can do whethever the heck they want to as long as they get the "evidence" as a result. no idea.

Cops can't do whatever they like to get evidence. But evidence is not thrown out because the police used the wrong warrant or whatnot. Maybe the officer doing wrong would face disciplinary procedures (resulting in loss of pension and job) or maybe they'd face criminal trial.

there won't be nothing. Cops whether break law or not don't get in trouble, by the rule. There is exemption but its a statistical noise just to make people feel like there is a justice.

Given that it is the prosecution who raised the problem, I am not 100% sure I'd agree with you.

This looks an awful lot like another examples of "incompetence, not malice".

Even being noticed by the prosecution, they should not benefit from the mistake. Raising this issue themselves is a nice way to apply the incompetence defense while benefiting from the initial abuse. If they are allowed to prevail, other future seizures may be done using the abusive mandate and later be "corrected".

If that's something that would come up anyway, it's smart to raise the issue themselves before the defense does it.

Absolutely; I hope the judge rules the seizure invalid for exactly that reason.

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