by the New Zealand police and the government, which he said he
believed was simply kowtowing to U.S. requests.
"Two helicopters and 76 heavily armed officers to arrest a man alleged of copyright crimes -- think about that," he wrote. "Hollywood is importing their movie scripts into the real world and sends armed forces to protect their outdated business model."
In February, the New Zealand police defended the operation, saying it had been in line with a risk assessment and there had been only "20 or 30" officers involved in the raid on the mansion.
After a month of prison, Mr. Dotcom was eventually granted bail, despite prosecutors' arguments that he was a serious flight risk. Over the following months his lawyers won a series of hearings to loosen the bail conditions and free up some of his confiscated cash to cover expenses.
The biggest victory came Thursday, when a High Court judge ruled the New Zealand police had used the wrong type of search warrant, so the entire raid had been illegal. Mr. Dotcom's lawyers are due back in the Auckland High Court on Wednesday, seeking the return of seized assets and data.
Dr. Gavin Ellis, a senior political studies lecturer at the University of Auckland, said that over time the public had become less supportive of the police operation.
"Initially there was a sort of a 'gee, whiz' reaction. 'Wow, look what the police have done, they've got this alleged master criminal,"' Dr. Ellis said. "But then, as the media perception of him and the media portrayal of him changed, looking backward those things started to look heavy-handed."
While Mr. Dotcom's lawyers were making steady progress in court, Mr. Dotcom was gaining the public's favor. A headline on the news Web site Stuff.co.nz in May read, "Dotcom's straight talk wins over Kiwis."
"There's been a clear shift in the characterization of him, from this assumed criminality or alleged criminality, to a cult hero," Dr. Ellis said.
Mr. Dotcom gave his first television interview in March to the national current-affairs show "Campbell Live," which dedicated its full half-hour program to the topic. He appeared affable and composed, speaking articulately in near-perfect English, with a German accent that was noticeable but not strong.
During that interview he described the U.S. indictment against him as "nothing more than a press release filled with things out of context, designed to make me look as bad as possible."
Speaking by e-mail on Monday, Mr. Dotcom said he was a "larger than life character," but he said he had not sought fame or notoriety.
"The people of New Zealand have made my family and me feel very welcome. They know that I have been treated unfairly. They know that the NZ leadership does anything to please the United States," he wrote.
"I used to respect the United States and the American dream," he said. "Now I consider the United States the biggest threat to Internet freedom and peace in the world."
Three months after his arrest, Mr. Dotcom gained more public approval when he waded into the political arena himself.
He disclosed a donation of 50,000 dollars that he had made to a right-leaning member of Parliament, John Banks, during Mr. Banks's failed 2010 campaign for mayor of Auckland. Mr. Dotcom said Mr. Banks had phoned to thank him for the contribution, despite the donation's listing as anonymous.
The political storm that followed dominated the news for several days and threatened to upset the country's coalition government, of which Mr. Banks is a small but strategically important part.
All of this worked in Mr. Dotcom's favor as well, Dr. Ellis believed, because many people "love to hate" Mr. Banks and his party.
Mr. Banks's press secretary, Shelley Mackey, said he maintained that the donations had been anonymous, that he had adhered to the law, and that he was looking forward to the outcome of a police investigation into the matter.
But Mr. Dotcom said by e-mail he had considered Mr. Banks a friend and he wished the political fracas had never happened.
"In terms of changing the perception of Kim Dotcom, you couldn't pick a better politician," Dr. Ellis said. "It's all fitted into the increasing legitimization of Kim Dotcom, or the acceptability of Kim Dotcom. It was almost as if the gods were smiling on him," he added.
Until recently, Mr. Dotcom was forbidden to use the Internet under his bail conditions.
After the court granted him access he began using Twitter on June 19, amassing more than 46,000 followers in just two weeks. John Key, New Zealand's prime minister, has about 52,000.
Mr. Dotcom has become a prolific user of social media, posting photos of his family as well as mocking the police operation and the legal case against him.
He has also used Twitter and his newly relaxed bail conditions to increase his public profile, posting photos of himself at a popular concert, at the screening of a television show and attending a protest march against the closure of a state-financed television channel.
Asked why he had become so active online, Mr. Dotcom said he was using the most efficient way to respond to all the good-will messages he had received.
The day after #swimatkims, Mr. Dotcom said in a Twitter post that the event would return for "everybody."
"Need a big public pool," he said. "Awesome DJ. Sound & lights. Who's in?"
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