Pirate Bay founder takes case to European court
Published: 14 May 2012 10:19 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 May 2012 10:19 GMT+02:00
One of the founders of Swedish file share site The Pirate Bay is turning to the European Court of Human Rights in the hopes of having his guilty verdict overturned, claiming his conviction violates his freedom of speech.
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“It’s just like saying the post office should be in court for delivering a letter with illegal content,” wrote Joans Nilsson, the lawyer for Pirate Bay founder Fredrik Neij, in an opinion article published Monday in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.
Neij was one of four men convicted in April 2009 by a Swedish court for being accessories to copyright violation for their role in founding and operating the Pirate Bay.
They were sentenced to a year's imprisonment apiece and a combined fine of 30 million kronor ($4.4 million).
Neij, along with co-defendents Carl Lundström, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, and Peter Sunde, appealed their sentences, with the Svea Court of Appeal ruling in November to uphold the convictions, with the exception of Gottfried Svartholm Warg, who was absent due to illness.
In February, however the Swedish Supreme Court (Högsta Domstolen), announced it would not grant the right to appeal in the case, meaning the appeal's court sentence would stand.
But now Neij is taking his case to the European Court of Human rights.
“We want deeper scrutiny to determine whether it’s actually right to convict Fredrik Neij as the responsible party for how others have used The Pirate Bay,” Nilsson wrote in DN.
"The fact that there is no clear legislation or legal precedent in an area that affects us all - the internet - constitutes a problem for the rule of law."
Meanwhile, Neij's fellow Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde last week requested a pardon for his conviction in the case, which left him facing an eight-month prison sentence.
While his prison sentence was due to begin on Wednesday, Sunde sought a pardon due to health reasons and his work with Flattr, a micro-donation file and money sharing site, according to documents filed by his lawyers.
It was revealed in March that Sunde, who was also the spokesperson for Pirate Bay, was set to head to the Västervik Norra prison in south eastern Sweden for his prison stint.
Fredrik Neij, meanwhile, was headed for Kirseberg in Malmö for his ten months.