THE WARRANTS used in the raid on Kim Dotcom's Megaupload mansion were legal, according to a New Zealand appeals court.
This ruling reverses an earlier decision, and comes after the Australian prime minister publicly apologised to Dotcom over his case. Dotcom reacted to the news that the warrants used were "valid" with the glib tweet, "Defective but valid."
Previously Dotcom's legal team had argued successfully that the warrants used were too vague and allowed for the collection of too many documents, including 135 electronic items. Last year the New Zealand High Court agreed, and acknowledged that the warrants were "too broad" and would allow for the collection of "unauthorised irrelevant material".
"They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid," said Justice Helen Winkelmann.
This week the New Zealand Herald reported that a panel of three judges decided that the warrants used were "defective in some respects" but not all that bad, and not bad enough to make them invalid.
"This really was a case of error of expression. The defects were defects in form not in substance," they wrote in their ruling. "No more items were seized than would have been without the defects in the search warrants."
Dotcom is fighting extradition to the US, where he faces criminal prosecution. The raid on his property previously was ruled illegal, but the result of this appeal takes Dotcom one step closer to an involuntary plane flight to the US.
Dotcom said that he is and has always been a fighter, suggesting that he and his legal team will launch a fresh appeal. More evidence of this came from Dotcom's lawyer Ira Rothken, who revealed a planned legal response to this latest court ruling on Twitter.
"Our @KimDotcom legal team is reviewing the rulings made by the Court of Appeal and will likely seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court," he said. µ