A New Zealand court hearing into a police raid on the mansion of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has been told the internet piracy accused went to a safe room after he heard a helicopter and other noises.
Dotcom gave evidence at the High Court in Auckland on Tuesday that he was punched and kicked by police during the raid in January.
On the first day of a three-day hearing that follows on from a court ruling in late June that the search warrants used to carry out the raid were not valid, Dotcom told the court he was working on his bed when police arrived.
As he was installing a Windows update on his computer, Dotcom said he heard a helicopter overhead, which wasn’t unusual, but then he heard the pinging sound of stones and gravel.
Dotcom said he couldn’t see what was happening outside, because the curtains were closed, but he soon heard loud banging at his bedroom door.
He went to a safe room, where he was found by police.
Dotcom said he put his hands up when police entered the room but he was punched, kicked and pushed to the ground.
He told the court he and his family were reminded of what happened during the raid every day.
“Our beautiful home was turned into a haunted house,” Dotcom said.
“Life is not the same after what happened.”
Dotcom told crown prosecutor John Pike he would have co-operated with police had they knocked on his door, rather than banging it down.
On Tuesday afternoon a member of the police special tactics group, whose name is suppressed, was questioned by defence lawyer Paul Davison about whether the police response was appropriate given the level of risk posed by Dotcom.
Another member of the police special tactics group was also expected to give evidence at the hearing.
Images and CCTV footage of the raid have been suppressed.
Dotcom and his wife, Mona, along with Dotcom’s three co-accused, Mathias Ortmann, Fin Batato and Bram Van der Kolk, have sat in the public gallery throughout the day.
The four accused face copyright, racketeering and money laundering charges in the US.
An extradition hearing is scheduled for March next year.