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'Pirate Bay judge not biased': court

'Pirate Bay judge not biased': court

Published: 08 Jun 2009 14:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Jun 2009 14:06 GMT+02:00

The judge in The Pirate Bay trial, Tomas Norström, was not biased, Stockholm District Court has argued in its report to the Svea Court of Appeal, which will rule on the issue.

Nordström is a member of several organizations that take a pro-copyright stance. These memberships form the basis of accusations from defence lawyers that the judge is biased and they have voiced calls for a re-trial.

Defence lawyers pointed out in appealing the convictions of their clients - Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Carl Lundström and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg - on charges of complicity in breach of the Copyright Act, that one of the organizations receives funding from the recording industry organization IFPI.

But the Stockholm District Court has now argued that the criticism is misplaced.

The memberships are simply a means to gain increased knowledge of copyright legislation issues and are not therefore grounds to establish bias, the court argues.

On the contrary, the court argues, it is imperative that judges remain abreast of the issues.

Defence lawyers have also maintained that Nordström had been hand-picked for the high-profile trial in contravention of the prevailing practice of the random selection of judges.

"This we strongly reject. The selection was made in adherence with the District Court's rules of procedure," Chief Justice Lena Berke at the District Court said.

Due to a re-organization, the appointment for the case was changed but the procedure was open and objective, the court states.

The Pirate Bay trial was concluded on April 17th and the four defendants were each sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay 30 million kronor ($3.8 million) in damages.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:22 June 8, 2009 by eZee.se
If they rule that the judge was not biased, a LOT of people (and nearly all the youth) are going to lose all faith in the Swedish legal system... especially since its not to hard to find the strings being held by the puppeteers in the (US) music and content industries.
15:35 June 8, 2009 by byke
I still believe this judgement was bent and politically motivated.
16:33 June 8, 2009 by Huey
The Swedish goverment must rule against this judge and throw out the entire case and ruling against the Pirate Bay if this goverment is going to be taken seriously by be the new generation of Swedes. The older generation of Swedes live in fear, so they are useless.
18:03 June 8, 2009 by Random Guy
now now, roll over and give me your paw like a good puppy - your USA overlords have spoken. you have no say in the matter.

now be good and take it or we will hit you on the nose with a wet paper.

be a good puppy - not a bad dog (or else!)
18:56 June 8, 2009 by anti pp
I wish I could have some burgers along with the movie, not to mention Free
20:41 June 8, 2009 by spy
If Nordström had declared his association with pro-copyright organizations would he have been 'hand-picked for this high-profile trial'? - Only by a complete moron!

This is a serious own-goal for the Swedish legal system which must not only act but also must appear to be whiter than white.
23:42 June 8, 2009 by Dagem Hailemariam
Are you F**King kidding me!! Call it what it is!! STRAIGHT BLATANT CORRUPTION!!
04:11 June 9, 2009 by Kevin Foley
I know judge T.N. personally and I believe him to be a serious, responsible and honest individual. With all due respect to his detractors - he is a fine professional and a good human being. Stop with the personal attacks. Has Karl Rove moved to Sweden??
04:46 June 9, 2009 by Marley420
I believe the next step is to appeal to Supreme Court of E.U.. Supreme Court without bias can either set aside or uphold the ruling.

Kevin, law is very difficult to understand for those who work outside the law. Unfornuately, media plays devil advocate to stir up emotions. But, I must agree with you that I sure he is a fine and honest individual who fines himself entrenched in a controversial issue of human rights.
07:49 June 9, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
Hang on. Where are these personal attacks you speak of? All I've seen on here so far are folks questioning what the judge actually decided in regards to his revealed direct professional interest in the case. Which in a democracy, is their perfect right. Heaven forbid trials haven't been unduly influenced by conflicts of interest before eh?

I think it's slightly unfair to compare the good folks on this forum with a certain coin-eyed soulless sociopath, just for debating the issue.

P.S Maybe your friend is all of the things you say he is, but at best he's also proven to be politically naive to think his revealed interests would not bring the trial into question, and at worst, obnoxious enough to think he was safe from what is potentially valid critique.
07:55 June 9, 2009 by apostolos1975
In other news a judge that freed a well-know pedophile has been found to be a pedophile himself. The supreme court doesn't see any need to rerun the case.

Following in the news, another blow to the anti-racist movement in the country were the supreme court approved the lynching of "bad" immigrants as an educational method.
09:00 June 9, 2009 by 2monitor
This is like beeing a member of Al Quaida, but not beeing a terrorist.
09:10 June 9, 2009 by Puffin
You need to remember that this is NOT a final decision relating to the appeal

The court of Appeal has asked the district criminal court which chose Nordström to judge the Pirate Bay case for a statement regarding the case as part of the appeal process

That the court that chose Nordström does not believe that they did anything wrong is hardly a suprise - the biggest surprise is that anyone is wasting their time to comment on this non event
09:23 June 9, 2009 by Octover
Thank you Puffin, rereading the article and I can see that point is made in the first paragraph.
10:08 June 9, 2009 by usgepo
Obvioulsy the Swedish courts belive that it is OK to be wined and dinned by studio executhiefs as well as extra curricular activities, such as private parties with special favors from young ladies palced specially there to please this guy, and others is considered normal.

Ask him how many times he has been wined and dined and after wards has been sipping Champagne at V and oher places VIP areas in Stockholm and London clubs with studio executives and Swedish and foreign artists?

This is normal and will not make a person byass rubbish, he knows where the bread is buttered.
11:25 June 9, 2009 by Nemesis
He was biased, that was a simple fact. He was a member of an organisation involved in the proceedings.

The plaintiffs, can now take both the judge and the court hearing this to the European Court of Justice and the European COurt of Human Rights.

I do believe the pirate bay was facilitating criminal action, but a biased judge is not justice, a biased judge is a kangaroo court. There is no place for a biased judge in any European court of law in any country.

That is why I support a retrial, as justice has to be seen to be done. Due to a biased judge justice has obviously not been done, which is why I now support them being released.
14:20 June 9, 2009 by Britswedeguy
So if I join the Swedish Nazi Party I could still judge asylum seeker's appeals? It's the same broken logic.

Sweden - see what happens if you elect Conservatives?
23:28 June 9, 2009 by Beavis
I heard the bookies are offering the same odds of this juge not being biased as they are of the pope being a muslim fundementalist, or of Sweden winning the eurovision with a drag queen
05:47 June 11, 2009 by jonathan.runner
System One: Corrupt individuals in a Monarchy.

System Two: Corrupt individuals in a Democracy.

System Three: You persecuted us for opposing your system.

We made our own.

And it's time to fight for it, to stand up for what we believe is right.

System 3 Company is a non-profit organization dedicated to freedom of information, freedom of speech, and privacy. Join in if you want.

sys3co@gmail.com
07:44 June 11, 2009 by Puffin
You seem to have completely missed the fact that this was NOT a decision in the appeal!

This was merely the Court of Appeal asking for a statement from the District Criminal Court that selected Nordström

So HUGE surprise that the court that actually chose the judge didn't think he was biased
15:56 June 15, 2009 by The Anachronist
I'm sure mr Norström is an excellent human being and all, but let me put it this way: What would the reaction have been if it had been revealed that he was a card carrying member of the pirate party, a contributor to FSF or what have you?
16:02 June 15, 2009 by Puffin
Then it would be the other side appealing - in any case was Nordström not a bit 2 faced since he dismissed a lay magistrate for possible bias for membership of one of the same organisations that he himslef is a member
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