Police knew of Kim Dotcom's residency status before raid

Police document and immigration officials confirm that authorities were aware Dotcom was a New Zealand resident, see photo

Immigration officials passed a file which confirmed Kim Dotcom's residency status to police in December, a statement shows.

Dotcom's residency status also appears in a police planning document (the "Blue Folder") requesting help from the Special Tactics Group (STG), dated January 9 , according to papers that Computerworld obtained from the Auckland High Court yesterday.

The planning document was signed on January 19 by detective inspector Grant Wormald, although the document was originally dated January 10. The interception of Dotcom and co-accused began on 16 December 2011 and continued until the day of the raid on January 20.

View and comment on:

- STG request for assistance "Blue Folder" [Redacted & Revised]

- Ministerial Certificate signed by Bill English

- Memorandum for directions on hearing

See also: PM releases Dotcom spying report

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The revelation deals a further blow to the case against the Megaupload multimillionaire, who is fighting extradition to the United States.

This week it emerged that spies from the Government Communications Security Bureau illegally spied on Dotcom and his co-accused Bram van der Kolk because they were given the wrong information on Dotcom's residency status by police.

Yesterday, Dotcom's legal team raised concerns about inconsistencies in evidence given by the police officer who led a raid on Dotcom's north Auckland home in January.

Wormald told the High Court last month that no other agencies were surveilling the tech mogul. It has since emerged that police asked the GCSB in December to find out where he was.

Justice Helen Winkelmann in the High Court at Auckland yesterday also questioned how GCSB could have been mistaken about Dotcom's residency.

Outside the court Dotcom, who is accused of copyright infringement and racketeering, said: "The courts in New Zealand are dealing with lies, cover-ups and fake stories on a daily basis and they will see straight through this."

A statement from Immigration New Zealand confirms it passed its file on Dotcom to police in December. "The information in the file included Mr Dotcom's New Zealand residence status," a spokeswoman said.

Dotcom was granted residence on November 23, 2010. Van der Kolk holds a permanent resident's visa, understood to have been granted in early 2011.

Snooping on the pair began on December 16, and lasted until January 20, when police swooped on his Coatesville mansion.

Yesterday Prime Minister John Key was again under pressure in Parliament over the debacle. He was forced to admit he did not know if intelligence agencies the Security Intelligence Service or the National Assessment Bureau were involved in the case.

Mr Key learned of GCSB's involvement a month after his deputy, Bill English, who signed an order blocking public disclosure of their activities. "He was of the view that the Government Communications Security Bureau would probably inform me of that matter," Mr Key said.

Labour leader David Shearer says the botches demonstrate "a complete lack of co-ordination" at senior levels in the spy agencies. "It staggers me."

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Police declined to comment yesterday. But the government is urging caution, noting that police have not yet been able to respond publicly.

It is understood confusion over the definition of the term permanent resident may have contributed to mistakes.

Inspector-General Paul Neazor is expected to complete his investigation into the illegal spying tomorrow. Government sources have indicated they want to see its findings made public.

8 Comments

phil wallington

1

The laughable Independent Police Complaints Auhtority should at least be going through the motions on this one... although they usually provide a whitewash.
[comment moderated]

Anonymous

2

As citizens, we accept that there are agencies that are not able to openly discuss their operations - GCSB, SIS and even some parts of the police. That trust is granted by the citizens on the understanding that these agencies accept the responsibility to act appropriatly and within the law.

daMystery1

3

Labour leader David Shearer says the botches demonstrate "a complete lack of co-ordination" at senior levels in the spy agencies. "It staggers me."
===============================
So, he's staggered is he... I imagine that that speech was written for him by his Spin Doctor....

Anonymous

4

Now if they'd asked the SIS to do the spying this wouldn't have been problem because they are allowed to spy on NZ residents. The police should make sure they ask the right dept next time.

Mess

5

I'm not naive enough to think there has never been corrupt/incompetent police in NZ. But the level to which this agency is disgracing the country is beyond belief.

TileGuy714

6

As an American it disgusts me to see that everyday policy as carry'd out in Washington (Using Federal law enforcement as hired guns for big business) has now migrated south of the equator. I don't think you can point to liberals or conservatives as they are both equally guilty. These politicians have forgotten they work at the pleasure of the people, Not their corporate backers!

Anonymous

7

The role of the GCSB is National Security. The point being overlooked here is that they should never be called in to help with local law enforcement. Even if Dotcom was not a resident the question would have to be asked; how was he a National Security Threat?

The performance by John Key talking about the safety of officers is comical. Every day the Police deal with raids on drug dealers and other dangerous characters who may be armed. How many of these kinds of operation have involved the use of two helicopters and assault teams?

Dotcom was running a web site. The US authorities had already shut it down and secured the evidence they needed. New Zealand Police could have simply turned up at the house and arrested him like they do with other people every day of the week. Instead we see a Hollywood production involving National Security agencies and our Police force set up to take the fall.

Was the reason the GCSB was used to avoid the need to get actual interception warrants required by law?

pdubyah

8

1. KDC remains under investigation for money laundering, Fraud, Racketeering, Piracy etc.
2. This investigation and any court proceedings will be held in the USA
3. His arrest in NZ, and the part GSCB played in that relate only to the events of the arrest.Has anyone read the report released on this?
4. GCSB as far as been presented did not, have not, or are not monitoring any activitiesx relevant to the indicetment agaisnt KDC, which is a matter specifically for trial in the USA

How is this even an IT related story?
Why is Computerworld such a fanboy of the man from Coatsville?
How do you infer that the actions of GSCB have damaged any extradition proceeding against KDC?

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