New Zealand prime minister, John Key, has issued a public apology to Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom over the country's spy agencies' treatment of him.
Key's apology came after a report from the New Zealand Inspector-General of Intelligence ruled that the Government Communications and Security Bureau (GCSB) had illegally spied on Dotcom.
"I apologise to Mr Dotcom, I apologise to New Zealanders because every New Zealander that sits within the category of having permanent residency or is a New Zealand citizen is entitled to be protected from the law when it comes to the GCSB, and we failed to provide that appropriate protection for him," he said in a video interview with the New Zealand Herald.
The GCSB was found to be at fault in two key areas regarding its treatment of Dotcom.
"First, the GCSB originally relied on the police's information about the residency status of the people in question. They did not check further," said Key in a public statement.
"Second, this error was compounded after the operation was concluded by a simply wrong interpretation of the law."
Dotcom responded to Keys' statement via Twitter, accepting the prime minister's apology.
@johnkeypm, I accept your apology. Show your sincerity by supporting a full, transparent & independent inquiry into the entire Mega case.— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) September 27, 2012
Law enforcement officials initially raided Dotcom's home in January, when 70 New Zealand police officers descended on his mansion.
The operation was conducted at the behest of the FBI, which has accused Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, of being the kingpin of an internet piracy ring.
Prosecutors have estimated the ring earned $175m by providing access to illegally copied music, movies and other copyrighted content before being shut down.
Dotcom's lawyers have contested the charges maintaining that the company only offered online storage.
The FBI is currently seeking the extradition of several alleged copyright infringers including British citizen Richard O'Dwyer.
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