Police knew of Kim Dotcom's residency status before raid
- 26 September, 2012 22:00
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.
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See also: PM releases Dotcom spying report
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."
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.
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