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Footage of the Mega raid has disappeared

By | Published on Wednesday 11 April 2012


In a new twist in the ongoing MegaUpload saga, security camera footage of the raid on the home of the rogue file-transfer site’s founder might have been lost, which is convenient for the New Zealand police, because Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz is planning on filing a complaint to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

As previously reported, New Zealand officers swooped on Schmitz’s property back in January as the US authorities moved to shut down the Mega operation, which is accused in the US of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering. Schmitz claims that the raid on his home “was excessive and heavy handed” and wants to make a complaint to the IPCA.

But CCTV footage of the raid was removed from the property when police seized the server on which security camera recordings were stored. Schmitz’s lawyers asked for access to that footage in a bid to gather evidence for their IPCA complaint. An IT rep for the Mega chief was seemingly told he could have access to the server on which CCTV footage was stored but, according to reports, when he got to the police HQ where the hardware was stored, he found the server had been disassembled, and officers said they could not reassemble it, or give him any of the data that had been previously stored on it.

When asked by New Zealand’s 3 News about the raid footage, a police spokesman said: “Police would happily release the footage in question but currently have no authority to do so. The footage is contained on a hard drive lawfully seized on a warrant obtained by police at the direction of Crown Law following a properly formulated mutual legal assistance request from the United States”.

It remains to be seen if Mega takes any more steps to try and secure the CCTV footage before filing a complaint with the IPCA. As previously reported, New Zealand police have already been embarrassed once over their high profile raid on Schmitz’s property when it emerged that they applied for the wrong kind of warrant before swooping on the Mega chief’s home. Lawyers for Schmitz argue that that made the raid and the seizing of any of their client’s property illegal.