New Zealand police today ruled out laying criminal charges in relation to the government spying on Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.
While the Government Communications & Security Bureau did contravene the Crimes Act by intercepting communications between Dotcom and an associate, it “did not have the necessary intent to satisfy the elements of the offense and be considered criminally liable,” police said in a statement. “No criminal charges will be laid against any person.”
Prime Minister John Key was forced to apologize to Dotcom in September for the GCSB’s surveillance of him during a U.S.- led operation to close his Megaupload website on piracy charges earlier last year. The government this month changed the law to allow the GCSB to spy on New Zealand citizens under certain circumstances. The agency was previously restricted to monitoring “foreign” communications, organizations and people.
While Dotcom was born in Germany as Kim Schmitz, he has New Zealand residency.
Dotcom still faces extradition to the U.S., which has described his cloud-storage Internet site as the biggest copyright infringement case in its history.
Armed police stormed Dotcom’s Auckland mansion in January last year, seizing 18 luxury vehicles, including a 1959 pink Cadillac, art, cash, computers and hard drives.