David Fisher

David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

Dotcom accused of assault - with his stomach

A police form described Kim Dotcom's assault complaint as 'minor'. Photo / Supplied
A police form described Kim Dotcom's assault complaint as 'minor'. Photo / Supplied

Police justifications for using anti-terrorist officers to raid Kim Dotcom's home were partly based on claims the tycoon assaulted a former staff member with his stomach.

A police form described the assault complaint by video editor Jess Bushyhead as "minor". The form quoted Mr Bushyhead saying the tycoon had "body-butted me in the left shoulder using his stomach".

Dotcom, who weighs about 165kg, was arrested two weeks later on copyright violation charges at the request of the FBI. A judicial review into the search warrants used in the raid, which featured the elite Special Tactics Group (STG), was heard last week.

Detective Inspector Grant Wormald, who led FBI assistance, told the court he sought the group's help, leading to its assessing whether its involvement was appropriate.

The assessment by the group stated Dotcom had a history of violence, was currently exhibiting violence and posed a threat of injury or death to non-specialist officers.

Mr Wormald said the complaint by Mr Bushyhead backed up three elements of the STG assessment. "The assault complaint by Mr Bushyhead was he was physically injured," he said.

The assault report filed by Mr Bushyhead on January 5 described his injuries as "sore neck and shoulders, sore right wrist, cuts and grazes to left wrist".

According to the complaint, the injuries came after he was manhandled at the property by two security staff. It was initially investigated by two police officers and no charges were pressed.

The fracas occurred after a work-related dispute between Dotcom and Mr Bushyhead during which, Mr Bushyhead said, Dotcom poked him with his finger and then butted him with his stomach. Mr Bushyhead said he was manhandled from the property by two security staff although he was later driven to a hotel by one of them.

He said he went to police after finding his laptop was missing.

Dotcom said Mr Bushyhead refused three requests to leave the property. After the final refusal, Dotcom's security chief, Wayne Tempero, was asked to evict him. He said he tried to help remove Mr Bushyhead after he clung to a door frame. "I helped push Wayne with my weight and we both pushed him out of the door."

Dotcom said he compensated Mr Bushyhead for the laptop at the time because it contained personal images of his family.

Police stated they needed to arrest Dotcom quickly, which meant using the STG as the only officers trained to deploy from a helicopter. Police have also cited a photograph of Dotcom holding a shotgun as giving rise to concern weapons would be on the property.

Mr Bushyhead said he believed police actions were fitting. "From an American point of view it seems to me that you folks should be praising the professionalism of your police."

- NZ Herald

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