Pe­ters ques­tions Dot­com raid

Herald on Sunday - - WE SALUTE YOU - By David Fisher

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Pe­ters in­sists the pub­lic has yet to be told every­thing about the Kim Dot­com case.

But he’s not about to launch an im­me­di­ate in­quiry into those ques­tions now he is part of the Gov­ern­ment.

The com­ments come ahead of a lengthy se­ries of Court of Ap­peal hear­ings set to run over the next four weeks.

Dot­com and three oth­ers in­volved in the Me­gau­pload file shar­ing web­site were ar­rested by New Zealand po­lice in 2012.

The ar­rests were the key part of a world­wide FBI op­er­a­tion aimed at de­stroy­ing Me­gau­pload and bring­ing those who ran it to the United States to face charges of crim­i­nal copy­right breaches, money laun­der­ing and run­ning an or­gan­ised crim­i­nal en­ter­prise.

Since then, the Gov­ern­ment’s lawyers have been try­ing to ex­tra­dite Dot­com, and co-ac­cused Matthias Ort­mann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato, to the US.

Pe­ters has called for an in­quiry to find the an­swers over the way the raid was run.

“I’m talk­ing about the pro­ce­dures by which he was raided. There were sub­stan­tial breaches of the law that oc­curred. No­body has taken re­spon­si­bil­ity for it.”

The case has been fraught from the out­set with ques­tions about po­lice use of the elite anti-ter­ror­ist squad to carry out the raid and the dis­cov­ery the highly se­cre­tive Gov­ern­ment Se­cu­rity Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Bu­reau had un­law­fully spied on the tar­gets.

Pe­ters said the se­cret set­tle­ment between Dot­com and po­lice, in which po­lice paid a six-fig­ure sum to the ac­cused mil­lion­aire, should not stand in the way of get­ting an­swers.

“The qual­ity of your ob­ser­vance of the law and fun­da­men­tal rights can’t be bar­gained away with an out-of-court set­tle­ment.

“It goes to what sort of coun­try you want to be. The fun­da­men­tal way the agen­cies acted was wrong.”

If the ex­tra­di­tion ap­peal fails in court, Jus­tice Min­is­ter An­drew Lit­tle may be asked to sign it off.

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