Kim Dotcom may get seized property back

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Kim Dotcom may get seized property back

Procedural error found in court filing.

The court order that allowed police to seize Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's property should never have been granted and was an "incorrect order", according to a judgment in New Zealand on Friday.

Justice Judith Potter ruled the restraining order placed on Dotcom "null and void" and said it had no effect because the type of order chosen did not give Dotcom the chance to mount a defence, according to the New Zealand Herald. 

The state of the court order was put down to a "procedural error" when filing the documents, said Police commissioner Peter Marshall.   

Potter attempted to amend the incorrect order after the mistake was realised, "retrospectively listing assets already seized", according to the report.

Justice Potter will decide whether the boss of the file-sharing site should get his property back. Assets seized included more than a dozen luxury vehicles and bank accounts worth millions were frozen.

Dotcom remains under house arrest after a court ruling in February that there was little risk he would attempt to flee New Zealand before a hearing over his potential extradition to the United States.

He was placed under house arrest, lives in a small house near the mansion he rented and must wear an electronic tag.       

The flawed court order was authorised by the minister in charge of the Crown Law Office, Attorney General Chris Finlayson, the newspaper report states. 

Dotcom's New Zealand legal team said his property had been "unlawfully seized and restrained under the order". 

But Catnerbury University professor Ursula Cheer said there is no guarantee that Dotcom would get his property back since the law allowed for these types of mistakes. 

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