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'Cops punched me,' says Megaupload millionaire

The Local · 8 Aug 2012, 07:54

Published: 08 Aug 2012 07:54 GMT+02:00

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"I was screaming and I was in pain ... I told them there was no need for punching me or hurting me and please stop,” Schmitz said at the trial on Tuesday, describing the raid that took place in January.

New Zealand authorities raided Dotcom’s rented estate outside Auckland following a request from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), seizing a number of computers, hard drives, art work and luxury cars.

Dotcom testified that the police forced him to the floor and one officer stood on his hand while a second kneeled on his ribs. He also said he felt kicks and a punch in the face, Bild newspaper reported.

Asked why the police photos did not show any evidence of this, he replied that they had been taken immediately afterwards, and that the bruises had not shown up until the next day. He was arrested at the raid, and released on bail a month later.

The raid has since been ruled illegal, and it remains unclear whether the confiscated computers can be admitted as evidence in the trial.

US authorities say Dotcom's internet platform Megaupload netted $175 million since 2005 by distributing music, films and other copyrighted content without authorisation. But his defence team say that he had simply offered an online storage facility.

Story continues below…

Should Dotcom - a German who legally changed his name from Schmitz - be extradited to the US, he could face up to 20 years in jail.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:48 August 8, 2012 by zeddriver
Yet another case of the government attitude of "the ends justifies the means". Not acceptable in a nation of laws. Breaking the law to collar someone who broke the law puts law enforcement at the same criminal level as this dotcom guy.

Or the German government for buying STOLEN data to go after tax cheats.
11:05 August 8, 2012 by Ozichick
I'd like to hear the other side. Police officers can't win, can they?
11:13 August 8, 2012 by raandy
This is a text book example of the long arm of the USA justice system,

CITIZENS OF THE WORLD BEWARE , scary to say the least.
18:02 August 8, 2012 by zeddriver

There are two issues at work here. First. I really doubt the cops would beat down this guy. That is usually reserved for violent criminals. Like a child rapist, Murderer or if someone tries to assault the cops while they make an arrest. But then, punching this guy would be like hitting a mattress. He has quite a layer of blubber to protect him.

As per the warrant's validity. That's not the function of the police. A prosecutor files for a warrant through a judge. The cops only serve said warrant.
03:23 August 9, 2012 by Ozichick
@zeddriver - that was my point exactly. I did not mean to suggest I support this guy's claim of police abuse. It's allegedly those in the wrong who never hesitate to turn to the media with wild claims of police brutality but I think that the honest citizen is able to see through this ploy.

I also believe that if one has nothing to hide, then there's nothing to fear from the police. I suggest Mr Dotcom stop his pathetic and puerile story and take responsibility for his actions.
03:39 August 9, 2012 by Yurallridiculous
This guy looks like he should be able to take a hit...cry baby
05:47 August 9, 2012 by insight101

the usual anti u.s. blather. you do get that it was the australian police that (supposedly) punched the poor guy right? and that even if they did punch him, sometimes what criminals do against society illegally is worse than what the police do illegally against them...
08:41 August 9, 2012 by Barry James

It was actually New Zealand Police. New Zealand is a sovereign nation. The FBI may request his arrest, how it is carried out why, is up to New Zealand's Judicial Authorities.
10:18 August 9, 2012 by zeddriver

"I also believe that if one has nothing to hide, then there's nothing to fear from the police."

That my friend is a very, Very dangerous attitude. While most police may be honorable. Look at what is going on in the US in regards to your very statement. Some politicians are wanting the police to stop anyone that does not look American and ask for their papers to see if they are here legally. After all. If your here legally. You have nothing to fear from our intrusions. Sounds like a certain regime from 1930's Germany. Now don't get me wrong. I do not support the unfettered influx of illegal immigrants to any country. That"s what the border control points are for. If you want to come to America. Fine. Just do it legally.

So. If I have a badge and I knock on Ozichick's door and say we are here to inspect your flat. No warrant. We just want to check for anything that might be related to an illegal activity. You would be fine with that type of police state intrusion. If so. You would have loved East Germany.

We have this silly little thing in the US called "the bill of rights" It says the authorities cannot stop you or detain you without probable cause. Now if a cops sees you doing something illegal. Then they have every right to "check your papers"

I would rather see a hundred criminals get away with their crime. Than for the "authorities" to treat everyone as if they were a criminal.
10:50 August 9, 2012 by raandy

first- the police are only the first step in the justice system, there job is to arrest the potential violator, not administer the punishment.

It was the US justice system that initiated the arrest warrant, even though this

alleged crime took place outside the US, and the suspect is not a citizen of the USA, I find this a little unnerving.
12:07 August 9, 2012 by zeddriver

"sometimes what criminals do against society illegally is worse than what the police do illegally against them..."

That is a rather problematic statement. I truly think it is part of the seemingly overall disrespect for laws and property of others.

The politicians pass laws. Then promptly exempt them selves from said laws or quite willingly break them. The police are charged with enforcing those laws. But. All to often break one law to enforce another. So. How is it that I or any other citizen is supposed to have any respect for following laws? When the makers and enforcers of those laws don't even follow them.


I think one of the issues with this case is that the property (Music, Movies) belongs to companies based in several countries. And Mr. Dotcom is making money across international borders. Which make this an international case. What I don't like though. Was that the raid was done at the request of the FBI. New Zealand authorities were wrong in not asking tough questions of the FBI. As in. What evidence do you have to support a raid. And that they will have to follow New Zealand's rules of obtaining a search warrant before a raid can happen.
13:06 August 10, 2012 by raandy

Exactly ,I agree with your assessment about the situation. The internet has created a lot of jurisdiction problems. The child porn is one major concern. The arrest of child porners has to my knowledge been a joint effort with other Nations and their respective police agencies and resulted in numerous arrest across the globe.

The major difference I see here is that the authorities in New Zeeland should have issued the warrant on the piracy charges themselves as it is their jurisdiction and not that of the USA.

Had Dotcom been doing this in his own country, I doubt or I hope that the US justice system would have been allowed to do this.
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