Police cleared of wrongdoing in Pirate Bay raid

Sweden's Justice Ombudsman (JO) has chosen not to criticize police or prosecutors for a raid on file-sharing website the Pirate Bay in May last year. But with further investigations still to come, the last word on the issue has not yet been heard.

“I find it astonishing that the JO’s investigation leaves out everything that was a flagrant violation of the constitution,” said Pirate Party leader Rickard Falkvinge.

Part of the criticism surrounding the raid concerned allegations that the Justice Department had applied unlawful pressure to the police and prosecutors after the Motion Pictures Association (MPA) had made contact with the Swedish government.

JO found that there had indeed been contact with the MPA but concluded that the lobbying carried out by the organization was “an accepted part of the political decision-making process”.

Authorities also came in for criticism for the sheer volume of equipment that was confiscated. Police seized a total of 186 servers, thereby affecting a number of companies and private individuals with no connection to the Pirate Bay.

Rickard Falkvinge also points out that servers belonging to Piratbyrån (the Pirate Bureau) were confiscated in the raid.

“They took over one of Sweden’s most important think tanks and opinion shapers. That is a crime against the freedom of association,” he said.

According to Falkvinge, the Pirate Party is considering taking the case to the European Court of Justice.

While JO has now cleared police and prosecutors of any wrongdoing, two further instances have yet to voice their opinion.

After the raid, former Justice Minister Thomas Bodström was reported to the parliamentary constitutional committee, which has not yet reached a verdict.

The Chancellor of Justice also intends to take up the issue of compensation for those affected by the raid.