Kim Dotcom is likely to be under fresh surveillance and
to have had phone calls with his lawyer intercepted, the judge
hearing the extradition case has found.
The finding, released this afternoon, gives greater substance
to claims by the internet tycoon that his phone is being
tapped and his calls monitored.
But Dotcom did not get the court ruling he sought, having
asked extradition Judge Nevin Dawson to order the United
States to rule out any form of surveillance on him.
Dotcom is facing extradition to the United States - along
with three others - after the FBI shut down his Megaupload
website. The four men face charges of criminal copyright
The current ruling came after he had a phone call with lawyer
William Akel interrupted and then heard his voice played back
for 15 seconds.
Other evidence put to an Auckland District Court hearing
included markedly improved mobile phone reception at his
Coatesville mansion despite the network provider making no
changes. The concerns dated back to September 2011.
Judge Dawson said: "On the evidence before this court it
would appear likely that some form of surveillance and/or
interference with telephone communications has happened.''
It did not mean it was certain surveillance had happened, he
Judge Dawson also refused to make the order against the US,
saying Dotcom would need to produce evidence showing the
country was involved.
The application to the court was accompanied by expert
evidence showing the type of technology needed to intercept
the calls was in use by the FBI. A device called Stingray
pretended to be a cell tower - boosting performance in the
affected area - while tricking cellphones to run their
communications through it.
Police headquarters last week refused to confirm whether it
also used the technology.
A spokesman said: "Based on the evidence presented in the
court to date it is unlikely that Police would consider an
investigation into these allegations.''
Dotcom has previously been illegally spied on by the
Government Communications Security Bureau, leading to an
apology from Prime Minister John Key.
His extradition hearing is in April.