“In a surprising turn of events” it now seems that an incorrect court order was issued to seize assets of the MegaUpload founder and that is now “null and void.” As a result, the New Zealand government may be required to return his belongings
New Zealand police filed for the wrong kind of restraining order–the kind that didn’t allow for DotCom to have a court hearing prior to the seizure–and that was a mistake, according to a report in the New Zealand Herald.
A court has now ruled that the restraining order that enabled police to seize his assets is “null and void,” and a review of the mistakes made will soon be conducted by New Zealand’s attorney general, according to the Herald.
The paper noted that there’s no guarantee that DotCom will prevail. His lawyers must prove the absence of good faith when the procedural error was made.
There was no word on when a decision on this may come down.
According to New Zealand Herald, on January 30th prosecution lawyer Anne Toohey wrote to the court explaining that the wrong order had been applied for and detailed five errors with the application.
Justice Potter said that police commissioner Peter Marshall tried to correct the error by applying for the correct order after the raids were completed and retrospectively adding the items already seized.
Although the correct order was eventually granted albeit on a temporary basis, Potter said she will soon rule on whether the “procedural error” will result in Dotcom having his property returned.
The Crown is arguing that since the new order was granted the earlier error no longer matters, but Dotcom’s legal team framed it rather differently by describing the seizure of assets as “unlawful”.
Whether the assets are returned will rest on Dotcom’s legal team showing a lack of “good faith” in connection with the blunder. A hearing to decide if the assets will be returned will take place next week.