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Pirate Bay founder arrested in Cambodia

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Pirate Bay founder arrested in Cambodia
14:34 CEST+02:00
Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, one of the founders of the file sharing website The Pirate Bay has been arrested in Cambodia after an international warrant was issued following a conviction in Sweden for copyright violations.

"I know that he has been arrested," his former defence counsel Ola Salomonsson told the Aftonbladet daily.

The Swedish foreign ministry has confirmed only that a Swedish man "in his thirties" has been arrested in Phnom Penh.

In April 2009, the Stockholm District Court convicted Svartholm Warg, along with co-founders Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and financier Carl Lundström, of facilitating copyright violations.

Each man was sentenced to one year in prison. They were also ordered to pay a total of 30 million kronor ($4.4 million) in damages.

All four appealed their sentences, and in November 2010 the Svea Court of Appeal uphold the convictions, with the exception of Svartholm Varg who failed to turn up at the hearing because of illness.

After failing to request his appeal be heard, the guilty verdict came into force in October 2011 and when Svartholm Warg failed to turn up for prison at the appointed time on April 18th 2012, an international warrant was put out for his arrest.

All three of Svartholm Warg's fellow Pirate Bay-founders had the jail terms of their sentences reduced from those initially handed down by the lower court, with Neij being sentenced to 10 months in prison, Sunde to eight months and Lundström to four months.

In addition, the court of appeal increased the compensation the defendants are required to pay up to 46 million kronor ($6.57 million).

The Swedish Supreme Court (Högsta Domstolen), announced in February that it would not grant the right to appeal in the case, meaning the appeal's court sentence would stand.

Fredrik Neij in May took his case to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming his conviction violates his freedom of speech.

Neij lives in Laos and according to media reports has recently sought the return of his Swedish passport in order for him to travel with his wife to Thailand for the birth of their third child.

Peter Sunde meanwhile currently lives in Germany and according to a blog post penned by him in July, he has confirmed that an application for a pardon has been rejected.

The Pirate Bay case gained broad international attention and despite repeated attempts to close it down, the popular file sharing site remains in operation.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson

Follow Peter on Twitter here.

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