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'Pirate Bay judge not biased': court

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'Pirate Bay judge not biased': court
14:06 CEST+02:00
The judge in The Pirate Bay trial, Tomas Norström, was not biased, Stockholm District Court has argued in its report to the Svea Court of Appeal, which will rule on the issue.

Nordström is a member of several organizations that take a pro-copyright stance. These memberships form the basis of accusations from defence lawyers that the judge is biased and they have voiced calls for a re-trial.

Defence lawyers pointed out in appealing the convictions of their clients - Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Carl Lundström and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg - on charges of complicity in breach of the Copyright Act, that one of the organizations receives funding from the recording industry organization IFPI.

But the Stockholm District Court has now argued that the criticism is misplaced.

The memberships are simply a means to gain increased knowledge of copyright legislation issues and are not therefore grounds to establish bias, the court argues.

On the contrary, the court argues, it is imperative that judges remain abreast of the issues.

Defence lawyers have also maintained that Nordström had been hand-picked for the high-profile trial in contravention of the prevailing practice of the random selection of judges.

"This we strongly reject. The selection was made in adherence with the District Court's rules of procedure," Chief Justice Lena Berke at the District Court said.

Due to a re-organization, the appointment for the case was changed but the procedure was open and objective, the court states.

The Pirate Bay trial was concluded on April 17th and the four defendants were each sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay 30 million kronor ($3.8 million) in damages.

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