No wonder Kim Dotcom spends so much time taunting the authorities from his Twitter account. A New Zealand news outfit has released the first footage of the January raid on the Megaupload mogul’s mansion, and sounds like Mr. Dotcom’s dealings with the authorities have been aggravating, to say the least.
The video opens with a helicopter landing and the deployment of the officers participating in the raid. The disgorging of black-clad SWAT-type officers and unfriendly-looking police dogs is pretty much the extent of the spectacle, and there’s no footage from the goings-on inside the house. However, the video also includes radio communications exchanged during the raid, and Channel 3 has spliced that with testimony from Mr. Dotcom himself to create a pretty good play-by-play:
Frankly, we’d suspected that the colorful Mr. Dotcom might’ve been exaggerating just a tad for effect, but the video attests that the raid was just as Hollywood-blockbuster as he makes it sound.
For starters, Mr. Dotcom didn’t suspect anything from just the chopper noise—as his guests often arrived early—but when he began hearing mysterious “pinging” sounds, he pressed a button to alert the entire household (via SMS) that something was up. From there he ducked to the “red room,” how he apparently refers to the supposed “panic room” where the authorities found him. The door wasn’t locked, he claims. “I thought, you know, I’d better wait for them to come to me,” he told the court, “rather than me popping out of that secret door and maybe, you know, scaring someone who might shoot me.”
That’s probably the most commonsense thing Mr. Dotcom has ever said.
The room itself is a tad disappointing, though—just a chamber tucked behind a secret door in a hall closet. We were hoping for something a little more high-tech, not just an enormous empty room with tacky red carpeting. If you’re going to bother with a hidden room, at least put some bookshelves and a liquor cabinet in there, you know?
Mr. Dotcom also reports that he got a little roughed up: “I had a punch to the face, I had boots kicking me down to the floor, I had a knee into the ribs.”
One also gets the sense that the tide of opinion in New Zealand might be drifting to Mr. Dotcom. The anchor’s voice-over drolly notes that, “If it all seems slightly … American … the FBI were there on the day and during the planning period leading up to it.”
Subtext: Leave it to a bunch of Americans to turn the arrest of a suspected copyright violator into Live Free or Die Even Harder.