Kim Dotcom at the hearing into the GCSB in July. He accuses
police of an "excessively aggressive approach" to the raid
on his mansion. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Taxpayers face a $6 million bill in damages over the
unlawful raid and illegal spying on Kim Dotcom and others.
Legal papers filed with the High Court allege an "excessively
aggressive and invasive approach" by police during a raid on
Dotcom's mansion 18 months ago.
They also accuse Deputy Prime Minister Bill English of acting
unlawfully in trying to cover up the spying by the GCSB
before the raid.
The statement of claim, filed with the High Court at
Auckland, seeks compensation for the actions of police and
the GCSB over the lead-up to and execution of the raid last
The raid was done at the request of the FBI, which is seeking
extradition of Dotcom and three others to the United States
on charges of criminal copyright violation.
Dotcom's lawyers, Paul Davison, QC, and William Akel, from
Simpson Grierson, described a chain of evidence taken from
court actions since the raid. Among the actions was a finding
at the High Court that the search warrant used for the raid
was unlawful and the raid illegal.
The claim accused police of "unnecessary force and aggressive
intimidatory tactics" by using armed anti-terrorist police in
an airborne assault on the north Auckland mansion.
The claim highlighted doors being kicked in and Dotcom's wife
Mona, pregnant with twins at the time, being kept forcibly
from her three young children.
It also targets the GCSB in the legal action for illegal
spying - and then attempting to legally cover it up.
Prime Minister John Key was forced to apologise last
September after Dotcom's legal team told the High Court it
was illegal by law for the GCSB to spy on New Zealand
residents. Dotcom and co-defendant Bram van der Kolk were
residents and protected by law at the time.
The claim says the GCSB should have known they were not to be
spied on - and should have done its own checks instead of
relying on the police's flawed evidence.
It accused GCSB boss Ian Fletcher of acting unlawfully by
giving "incomplete" and "misleading" information to Mr
English, who in Mr Key's absence signed a once-in-a-decade
certificate legally ordering the GCSB's involvement to be
The certificate turned out to be worthless when the
illegality was raised.
The claim specifies sums ranging from $1 million to $50,000
for a range of points. An additional case is made for the
cost of repairing damage, including kicking in doors and
ruining expensive computer systems, caused by police in the
The case is set to be heard in March, just before the likely
date of the long-delayed extradition hearing.
Lawyers acting for the Crown say the police were acting in
accordance with the law in executing a search warrant and are
protected from being sued.
They also said the Special Tactics Group was "to ensure
police were able to secure the property quickly and safely
and with the lowest possible risk of relevant evidence being
They also "deny any person sought or conspired to conceal
unlawful conduct on the part of the GCSB".
Dotcom, his wife and co-defendants have taken the case.
Mr English's office did not return calls yesterday.
How it unfolded
January 20, 2012: The police's anti-terrorist squad make an
airborne assault on the mansion of Kim Dotcom as part of an
FBI copyright criminal
June 2012: The High Court rules the search warrant for the
raid was unlawful and the search was illegal.
August 2012: The police officer who led the operation refuses
to name people involved in planning the raid "because of the
nature of the work they
- David Fisher, NZ Herald
September 2012: The mystery group are revealed as operatives
for the Government Communications Security Bureau. The spying
they did was
illegal, forcing an apology from the Prime Minister.
April 2013: Papers are lodged with the High Court at Auckland
seeking damages and compensation for the raid.