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Judge rules seized items to be returned to Dotcom

Published: 4:02PM Friday May 31, 2013 Source: ONE News

Kim Dotcom has secured another victory as he fights extradition to the United States.

In a decision released today, Justice Winkelmann says police need to return items they seized in the raid on the internet tycoon's Coatesville mansion.

Anything ruled irrelevant to the internet piracy case has to be returned to Megaupload founder Dotcom and police have to contact their counterparts in the United States and ask that they delete any irrelevant information.

The court ruled that any clones of hard-drives already sent to the US must also be returned if they contain personal information.

Any further copies must be destroyed.

Justice Winkelmann has acknowledged the process will take time and money, but says that it is the police's fault.

The orders follow a three-day remedies hearing earlier this year, where Dotcom's lawyers argued for the return of the material, while Crown lawyers said that was unnecessary.

Dotcom was arrested in a police raid on his Coatesville mansion in January last year, a raid which has since been deemed illegal by the High Court, when Justice Winkelmann ruled the warrants authorising it were too general.

US authorities want to extradite Dotcom to stand trial on criminal charges, alleging copyright piracy and racketeering.