Kim Dotcom settles lawsuit against NZ Police for raid he says 'traumatised' his family

Source: 1News

Kim Dotcom has settled a lawsuit against the New Zealand Police over alleged unreasonable use of force in a raid of his north Auckland mansion in January 2012.

On the morning of January 20, 2012 police executed search warrants on the Coatesville property of Dotcom and computer programmer Bram van der Kolk, seizing 135 electronic items including laptops, computers, portable hard drives, flash storage devices and servers.

The raid was related to efforts to extradite Dotcom to the United States to face charges including breaching copyright.

"Today, Mona and I are glad to reach a confidential settlement of our case against the New Zealand Police," Kim Dotcom said in a statement.

"We have respect for the Police in this country. They work hard and have, with this one exception, treated me and my family with courtesy and respect.

"We were shocked at the uncharacteristic handling of my arrest for a non-violent Internet copyright infringement charge brought by the United States, which is not even a crime in New Zealand."

In a statement, Police confirmed a settlement had been reached between Kim and Mona Dotcom, which they said brings to an end the civil proceedings which had been set for a five week trial beginning October 31. 

Police say the settlement "avoids the significant costs which would have been incurred had the trial proceeded".  

Dotcom says 72 police officers including the heavily armed Special Tactics Group and the Armed Offenders Squad descended on his family home on January 20, 2012.

In the statement from Doctom's lawyer Ron Mansfield, the events of that day involve two helicopters landing just outside his family home with officers "weilding M4 Bushmaster rifles".

The statement says police officers held the Dotcom family "at gunpoint" and caused "considerable damage" to his property.

Dotcom says his seven month pregnant wife, mona was "traumatised" by the experience.

"We sued the Police because we believed their military-style raid on a family with children in a non-violent case went far beyond what a civilised community should expect from its police force. New Zealanders deserve and should expect better," Dotcom said in the statement.