NZ Police Address Use of Special Tactics Group in Kim DotCom Raid
Sledgehammers, motorized saws, assault weapons and more were used in the raid of MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom's compound. TV 3 in New Zealand has new details of the raid in an interview with a police official who attempts to justify the excessive force.
Seventy-six police officers, many armed with automatic weapons and pistols, including members of the elite Special Tactics Group, arrived at Kim Dotcom’s Coatesville property on January 20, to arrest him on charges relating to copyright offences.
In a related new article, Kim DotCom's security chief, Wayne Tempero, who took TV3 on a tour of the mansion, says:[More..]
Doors that weren’t even locked were being smashed open, there were police officers with sledge hammers and even a circular saw, and there were guns everywhere....The force was incredible. But had they simply asked us we would have opened the door to any room they wanted to enter.
There are two new videos accompanying the article: One is an interview with Assistant Police Commissioner Malcolm Burgess, who signed off on the Dotcom police operation. He confirms the participation of the highly specialized Special Forces Group in the raid. He justifies it based on "the intelligence" they had at the time and their concern for destruction of evidence. He says they were working with the FBI pursuant to a Mutual Assistance request the FBI had no involvement in the operational tactics used in the raid.
The second is of DotCom Security Chief Wayne Tempero walking a TV3 News reporter through the mansion, showing the damage and explaining what happened. It's long but well worth watching.
As for the guns, Tempero says, as he has before, the two shotguns were his, he purchased them with a license, they were inside the safe, and the safe door was closed with the keys inside it.
Even the police officer says there has never been a raid like this before in New Zealand. He says while 76 officers were involved in the raids, not all were at Kim DotCom's house (maybe just 20 or 30), the others were executing search warrants at other places. But his claims that their intelligence or the fear of destruction of evidence justified the over-the-top raid ring hollow.
As for Kim DotCom's assets, Tempero says there are no other accounts and Kim DotCom's wife and children are basically living off of "charity" from friends and supporters right now.
Update: See the new video interview with Printzboard, musicial director for Black Eyed Peas and friend of Kim DotCom. Printzboard was the director for the MegaUpload promotional video that resulted in the lawsuit against Universal. He discusses how the raid was over the top, and his conversations with Kim DotCom in jail. He says Kim DotCom is looking forward to coming to the U.S. to prove his innocence. He also says MegaUpload was good for artists. And he plays a song from the album Kim DotCom was making.
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