New Zealand government knew of FBI interest in Dotcom
The New Zealand government knew about FBI interest in Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom around six months before he was arrested on file sharing charges, new information has revealed. Land information minister Maurice William and justice minister Simon Power received documents stating a “vague” FBI interest in the website founder while they considered his application to buy a $30 million mansion in the country.
The documents, which said the FBI was suspicious that Dotcom was involved in file sharing crimes, are also thought to have been seen by at least four government offices before his arrest. He is due to fight against an extradition order in August to send him to the US to face charges he denies.
At the time when Dotcom’s bid for the mansion was rejected, Immigration New Zealand had already granted him a residency permit under the ‘investor’ category, leading to criticism of the country’s immigration rules.
The documents were obtained from the Overseas Investment Office via an Official Information Act request from the New Zealand Herald. Although the document had already been released, the part about the FBI’s suspicions had been deleted.
The new information confirmed that there was no evidence that Dotcom had handled any pirated material himself, but that the FBI was interested in his activities. Immigration New Zealand, however, decided that the comments were “so vague” that they should not be considered when granting the residency permit.
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