Alternate sourceReuters posted:Kim Dotcom, the founder of the Megaupload online file-sharing site embroiled in U.S. piracy and fraud investigations, said on Tuesday New Zealand police punched and kicked him during a raid on his mansion.
Dotcom, a German national who is fighting extradition to the United States from New Zealand, said he was terrified during a raid in January by armed police using helicopters.
He said when he heard shouting and banging he went to a safe room, where police found him.
"And then they were all over me. I had a punch to the face, boots kicking me down to the floor," Dotcom said in court.
"I was screaming and I was in pain ... I told them there was no need for punching me or hurting me and please stop."
Acting on a request from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New Zealand authorities raided Dotcom's rented estate outside Auckland, confiscating computers and hard drives, art work and luxury cars.
However, the raid and seizure of evidence has since been ruled illegal and the court hearing this week is to determine what should happen to the seized material.
The FBI says Dotcom led a group that has netted $175 million since 2005 by copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted content without authorization.
Lawyers for the flamboyant entrepreneur say the company simply offered online storage.
Dotcom and three others were arrested in the raid. Dotcom was kept in custody for a month before being granted bail.
The hearing is scheduled to last until Thursday.
A New Zealand court is due to hear an application from U.S. authorities to extradite Dotcom on internet piracy, money laundering and breach of copyright charges in March.
TorrentFreak posted:Earlier today Kim Dotcom told a New Zealand court how police assaulted him during the raid on his Coatesville mansion in January this year. The Megaupload founder said after hearing a commotion downstairs he fled to a safe room and waited to be found but was eventually assaulted by the police. “And then they were all over me,” he said. “I had a punch to the face, boots kicking me down to the floor.”
Kim Dotcom has been giving evidence in the Auckland High Court today. The hearing, which is scheduled to run for three days, follows on from a court ruling in June that found the search warrants used to conduct the January raid against the Megaupload founder’s home were invalid. This week his lawyers will argue that the raid was unreasonable.
Dotcom told the court that at the time of the raid he was in bed installing a Windows update on his computer. Dotcom said he heard a helicopter outside and thought it may have been some guests arriving for his birthday celebrations. However, he realized that something was wrong when the downdraft of the helicopter’s rotors started kicking up stones onto the glass of his Coatesville mansion.
After hearing banging on his door, Dotcom said he fled to a pre-arranged safe room in the house. He stayed in this “red room” until police arrived.