Elite forces, the special tactics group, helicopters - the raid on the Dotcom mansion was designed to prevent the Megaupload boss destroying evidence. And the arms were because Mr Dotcom, who looks more like Benny Hill in the picture the police feared, was potentially dangerous. The Herald reports.
The country's most elite armed police were told they had to find Kim Dotcom before he destroyed evidence, but were banned from searching building plans to learn about the interior of the tycoon's mansion, a court has heard.
The High Court at Auckland heard yesterday it took the special tactics group (STG) more than 13 minutes to find Dotcom - and then only after his bodyguard showed them the location of the tycoon's "safe room".
The hearing follows a ruling the search warrants executed during the raids were invalid. Chief High Court judge Helen Winkelmann is hearing evidence before deciding what should be done with the seized evidence.
Dotcom last night sent a Twitter message saying: "After reliving the raid in the court room I am angry. So many lies. There was no justification for this! All just a big show for the US!"
His lawyer, Paul Davison, QC, yesterday quizzed a sergeant and another officer from the elite STG about the raid, which followed an FBI request for help with an investigation into criminal copyright violation. The men were among 30 officers from the STG and armed offenders squad tasked with leading the raid at the mansion in Coatesville before being backed up by other officers.
The court heard the primary objective of the raid was to stop Dotcom destroying evidence. The sergeant had earlier confirmed his notes, which stated Dotcom had a "device to delete servers around the world" - information he said came from the FBI.
The sergeant said there were concerns about a "safe room" somewhere inside the mansion. When asked why the STG had not sought more detailed plans of the mansion from the local council, he said: "Operational security was identified as a higher priority. We were prevented from going and sourcing more detailed plans."
The sergeant accepted it took just over 13 minutes to find Dotcom, and only after the millionaire's bodyguard showed officers the secret door behind which a staircase led to the "safe room".
Source: NZ Herald