Cofounder of the Pirate Bay Gottfrid Svartholm has had his court sentence confirmed after he failed to show up for a court hearing. Now all the court has to do is find him.
Svartholm had a limited time to appeal his 2009 sentence of a year in prison and $4.4 million in damages. The other founders - Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström – all appealed their sentences and received reduced jail time and increased damages, but still much less than their recording industry foes had asked for.
The only problem now facing the court is how to find Svartholm and enforce the punishment. He has been missing for much of the appeals process, and according to his mother was last heard of in Cambodia, and was too sick to attend a legal proceeding. Even his lawyer doesn’t know where he is.
“This is actually a really bizarre step from the Swedish court – he’s found guilty because he can’t defend himself,” Sunde told TorrentFreak. “Way to go, democracy. It will be interesting to see how they will actually try to find him and put him into jail. If he’s not alive – will they put his gravestone into a jail cell for a year?”
The other three defendants are still waiting for their appeal to be heard by the Swedish Supreme court, and are reasonably confident that they can still beat the prison sentences imposed or have the charges dismissed.
“In the end, we’ll win. I’m certain of that,” Sunde said. “It’s just that we don’t have the same lobby power as these groups we’re fighting. But the law is on our side, however what we’ve learned is that having the legal right is not the same as winning in court. It all depends on who’s paying the judges.” ®