Kim Dotcom has started a legal battle with the New Zealand Government seeking billions of dollars in damages over an invalid warrant carried out six years ago by the New Zealand police in a spectacular military-style raid against individuals accused only of copyright infringement.
Kim Dotcom accuses the authorities of negligence and misfeasance, which resulted in the destruction of the highly profitable Megaupload service and detaining of Kim Dotcom along with his wife and children.
Megaupload’s founder has always maintained that his arrest was unlawful under New Zealand law, and he is determined to hold the authorities accountable.
“Today, 6 years ago, the NZ Govt enabled the unlawful destruction of Megaupload and seizure of my global assets,” Dotcom wrote on Twitter.
“I was arrested for the alleged online piracy of my users. Not even a crime in NZ. My lawyers have served a multi billion dollar damages claim against the Govt today,” he added.
“We confirm that our legal team filed a Statement of Claim in the New Zealand High Court for monetary damages on December 22, 2017 on behalf of Kim Dotcom against the United States and NZ governmental entities alleging that defendants pursued with malice and material non disclosure an erroneous arrest warrant,” Rothken says.
The consequences, however, were rather severe. Dotcom lost his freedom and also his company, which was worth billions and preparing for an IPO, according to the legal paperwork.
“At the time the Restraint Orders were granted, second plaintiff was preparing to list on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong at a conservative valuation of not less than US$2.6 billion,” the claim reads.
This valuation is based on a valuation of $40 for each of the 66 million users Megaupload had, which generated $45 million in profits per year. If Megaupload had not have been raided, today’s value could be as high as $10 billion.
Dotcom has a 68 percent stake in the Megaupload companies and seeks damages that will compensate for lost profits. In addition, he requests compensation for legal costs, lost business opportunities, loss of reputation, and other losses.
The claim doesn’t come as a surprise to the New Zealand Government, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a brief response.