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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Dotcom sues

23 January 2018

Kim Dotcom is suing the New Zealand government and, even though any damages awarded would come out of my (and your) pockets, I hope he wins.

We could argue all day about whether Dotcom's Mega-Upload service was just a front for widespread copyright infringement and whether he deserves to be extradited to the USA and face their rather pro-corporate justice system but there are far more important issues involved.

Most important is the credibility of NZ's government and police force as the protectors of our rights, liberties and freedoms.

In the case of the raid on Dotcom's mansion and incarceration, plus subsequent confiscation of his assets, I believe the government of the day and the police showed an almost criminal neglect of their duties. What's more, it seems that the courts already agree with me -- labeling those actions as "unlawful".

So, are we to allow armed robber, kidnapping and theft to go unpunished, simply because it was done at the request of US government agencies?

If we do allow this kind of outrageous behaviour on the part of the state to go unpunished then we might as well all immigrate to China or North Korea because that's the direction the country is clearly heading.

Regardless of the accusations against him, it must be remembered that our legal system grants the right to be presumed innocent until such time as one is proven guilty. Dotcom was denied that right by the NZ government.

We also had the right, as citizens or residents, to freedom from surveillance by the GCSB. That right was also denied Dotcom.

Now, it seems, millions of dollars of Kim's belongings have been returned to him but appear to been stored in a way that has rendered them badly damaged or useless. This also must justify a very valid case for compensation.

It's easy to say "but Dotcom was a crook" -- until you realise that he's never been tried for the allegations against him and any of us could find ourselves in exactly the same position. How would you feel if armed stormtroopers descended en-mass and held you and your family at gunpoint while others looted your house, carrying your most valuable and personal possessions off in trucks?

How would you feel if this was done at the request of the US government, even though you may never have even set foot in that country and the crimes of which you were accused were nothing more than civil offenses here in NZ?

No, I'm sorry, this is wrong.

As I have said right from the start, people need to be held to account for these unlawful ILLEGAL actions against Mr Dotcom or our whole governance, security and policing systems are exposed as a giant joke -- puppets of overseas governments.

Sadly, I think we all know that this accountability will never happen. Those within government who cowered in front of the might and power of the US government will never be censured for their cowardice and treason. Those within the police force who thought it would be "a great day out for the boys" and a chance to play with their shiny guns and helicopters will still be carrying a smug smile and collecting their pay-packets. And those politicians who backed this will still be enjoying their taxpayer-funded post-employment perks at the end of it all.

So it looks as if the only thing we can do to even slightly right the wrongs is to pay Mr Dotcom a hefty sum of money as a compensation for the injustices and crimes committed against him.

Unfortunately, my gravest concern is that nobody will have learned any lessons from this.

We still appear to be the dancing puppet of US corporations who, by way of the US government, will undoubtedly use our own agencies against us whenever they choose to do so.

So much for a free and independent New Zealand.

Everyone salute the Stars and Stripes now.

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