WELLINGTON – Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom accused New Zealand police of selectively applying the law Friday after they opted not to prosecute intelligence officials who illegally spied on him.
Police reviewed the actions of the Government Communications Security Bureau after it was revealed last year that the agency unlawfully spied on Dotcom before his arrest for alleged online piracy in January 2012.
They said Thursday that the investigation had found GCSB staff illegally intercepted an unspecified communication from Dotcom in breach of the Crimes Act.
However, police said they will not prosecute because they could not prove there was a deliberate intent by the intelligence officers to break the law. Dotcom dismissed the argument and said he never intended for copyrighted material to be exchanged on his Megaupload file-sharing site but was still facing piracy charges.
“One law for them, another for us,” he tweeted. “Where was my ‘criminal intent’ when some #Megaupload users shared copyright infringing material?”
He said he was not surprised at the police’s refusal to prosecute.
“This decision smells like conflict of interest and cover-up,” he told TVNZ. “I didn’t expect anything but a whitewash. It’s the police investigating the police.”
Dotcom is a German national but has New Zealand residency, meaning he should have been off-limits to the GCSB under laws banning the agency from spying on locals.
Prime Minister John Key last year acknowledged the spy agency had overstepped its limits and issued a public apology to Dotcom, who is free on bail and fighting extradition to the United States.
Key also introduced legislation allowing the GCSB to spy on residents and citizens for the first time, which passed through parliament earlier this month.