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.


Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.