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Bias allegations mount in Pirate Bay case

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Bias allegations mount in Pirate Bay case
13:39 CEST+02:00
Two of the three judges in the Pirate Bay case are biased, according to the defence counsel, Per E. Samuelsson.

In a new submission to the Court of Appeal (Hovrätten) Samuelsson alleges bias against appeals court chief judge Kristina Boutz and appeals court judge Ulrika Ihrfelt.

Boutz is a member of the copyright organization SFIR and Ihrfelt has been a member of the copyright group SFU.

In his submission to the appeals court Samuelsson refers to the investigation of allegations of bias regarding judge Tomas Nordström in the original case against The Pirate Bay backers in the district court.

"It is extremely inappropriate for judges in the appeals court to also have been members of judicial-political organizations that are close to the copyright industry," Samuelsson said.

"I think it is best to not comment on this," judge Ulrika Ihrfelt told the TT news agency.

She underlined that an investigation into allegations of bias will not be conducted by her own department within the appeals court.

"It will of course be another department than our own which will look at the bias issue," Ihrfelt said.

Last week one of the lay judges set to hear the case was reported for bias. The man is currently employed by Spotify, an online music service and alternative to illegal file sharing.

The four men behind The Pirate Bay were sentenced to one-year's imprisonment and ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($4.3 million).

The judgement was appealed and is set to be tried in the appeals court in November 2009.

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