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Sweden to freeze guilty Pirates' loot

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Sweden to freeze guilty Pirates' loot
16:29 CEST+02:00
Bank accounts belonging to the four men found guilty in the Pirate Bay trial will be frozen as early as Wednesday, according to Sweden's official debt collection agency.

The Swedish Enforcement Agency (Kronofogden), which is charged with collecting on Swedes' delinquent debts, has already sent payment orders to the four men convicted in the case demanding they pay the first 12.1 million kronor ($1.5 million) of the 30 million kronor damages claim that accompanied the guilty verdict against them.

Peter Sunde responded by putting the payment orders through a paper shredder.

“I've already shredded them. I don't have the money so it's not going to affect my personal finances,” he told the TT news agency.

As it stands now, only one of the men, Wasabröd food empire heir Carl Lundström, has sufficient funds to pay off the claim.

Since the fine is to be paid by the four men together, and the other three men convicted in the case -- Sunde, Fredrik Neij, and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg -- lack assets of any sizeable value, Lundström will end up footing the entire bill.

“He's received papers from Kronofogden but we haven't had a chance to review the matter. But the ruling stands until it's remitted again due to the judge's conflict of interests,” said Lundström's attorney Per E. Samulesson to TT.

Samuelsson has already requested that the case be retried in the district court because of complaints that the presiding judge in the case, Tomas Norström, is a member of groups which have actively lobbied for tougher copyright protections.

“We're now investigating as much as we can what the conflict of interest looks like and we're assuming that the court of appeal will send the case back to the district court. And then the order to carry out the punishment will be terminated,” said Samulesson.

In the mean time, the work of the Swedish Enforcement Agency continues to move forward, with the bank accounts of the four men convicted in the case expected to be frozen as early as Wednesday.

“We'll start looking for assets on Wednesday if we haven't received any money by then. The money in the accounts is an asset and if we find it we'll seize it,” said the agency's Fredrik Karlsson to TT.

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