A Stockholm District Court has handed down its sentence against Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm, and he’ll be spared the whip, but little else. Assuming he ever turns up, he’ll be forced to serve a one year jail sentence and pony up a cool $1.1 million to pay off his debt to society. Svartholm’s fate was decided separately from his fellow Pirate Bay crew as a result of medical complications that prevented him from attending the original trial; however, these same complications prevented him from attending the new proceedings as well. As if being sentenced to a prison term without being present wasn’t bizarre enough, Svartholm’s lawyer admits he has no clue where is client is, or even if he is dead or alive.
In an interview with TorrentFreak, Peter Sunde, one of the three remaining defendants, claims he is appalled with how the court handled the case. “I think it’s kind of strange putting a guy into jail because he’s too sick to appear in court,” Sunde says. “Also, nobody is in contact with him, for all we know he might be dead since no-one can reach him.” “This is actually a really bizarre step from the Swedish court – he’s found guilty because he can’t defend himself. 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?”
Svartholm’s failure to appear before the courts also means he is no longer entitled to appeal the sentence, and he has been ordered by the courts to turn himself over to the authorities. What do you make of the case?