Prosecutor to press charges against Pirate Bay

Prosecutor Håkan Roswall has made it clear that he intends pressing charges against individuals connected with the Pirate Bay following a much-publicized raid on the file-sharing site's servers last year.

Police and prosecutors confiscated the servers along with other computer equipment on May 31st 2006.

Roswall wants to prosecute individuals involved with the Pirate Bay for breaches of copyright law “and for helping others to break copyright law and conspiring to break copyright law”.

But Tobias Andersson from the Pirate Bay does not think that the people behing the file-sharing site have much to fear.

“We expected this. And of course we don’t think they will succeed.

“I think they feel they have to do it. It would look bad otherwise since they had 20 to 30 police officers involved in the raid,” he told The Local.

The raid was followed by a heated debate and a flurry of legal activity. It later emerged that the US-based Motion Pictures Association had encouraged Swedish authorities to carry out the swoop.

The Chancellor of Justice, the Justice Ombudsman and the parliamentary Constitutional Committee all received complaints.

“We will most likely be cleared as it is obvious that there is no copyrighted material on the site, there are just links to other places.

“Whatever the outcome, we will continue. If we are outlawed in Sweden we will continue elsewhere. There will be no downtime,” said Andersson.

Roswall was given until June 1st by the courts to decide on whether or not to press charges against the individuals behind Pirate Bay.

The prosecutor has indicated that he may need more time before providing the court with a charge sheet. He would not name the people who are likely to face charges or say how many will be prosecuted.

“It’s not completely finished yet. There are actually still quite a few people who need to be questioned,” Roswall told news agency TT.

The Justice Ombudsman elected in April not to criticize police or prosecutors for their part in the raid. He did however note that a number of companies and private individuals with no connection to the Pirate Bay had been affected by the raid.

The Chancellor of Justice has not yet decided whether or not the innocent victims of the raid should receive compensation.

Sweden’s Constitutional Committee is still expected to deal with complaints about the involvement of then Justice Minister Thomas Bodström.