Pirate Bay judges ruled unbiased

The judges appointed to preside over the appeal of the four men found guilty in the Pirate Bay appeals hearing in September have been cleared from bias allegations, the Supreme Court (Högsta Domstolen) ruled on Wednesday.

Pirate Bay judges ruled unbiased

The allegations were forwarded by financier Carl Lundström and concerned Court of Appeal (Hovrätten) judges Ulrika Ihrfelt and Kristina Boutz. Lundström alleged bias on the grounds of the pair’s ties to organizations which support copyright holders.

“A judge before a trial often naturally has an opinion on a legal issue related to the case. This does not mean that he is biased, if he is prepared to follow his convictions regardless of who gains from its application,” the court wrote in its judgement.

Lundström, who along with Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde, was convicted by Stockholm District Court of being an accessory to copyright violations in April 2009. The four men appealed their convictions and are fighting one year prison sentences and a collective fine of 30 million kronor ($4.3 million).

The original appeal was due to be heard in November 2009, but the bias allegations caused the date to be put back and the Court of Appeal hearing is now due to commence in September.

The case is expected to go all the way to the Supreme Court because of its precedent-setting nature: no one in Sweden has ever been found guilty of being an accessory to copyright violations via the BitTorrent file sharing peer-to-peer technology.

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