Judge denies bias claims in Pirate Bay trail

Court argues copyright membership did not prejudice site's case

The Stockholm District Court has hit out at claims that the judge in the Pirate Bay trial was biased against the torrent site.

The site’s four founders were each handed one-year sentences after being found guilty of copyright infringement in April.

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde Kolmsioppi, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom are now partly basing their appeal on the alleged bias of judge Tomas Norstrom, who conducted the first trial.

They claim that, as a member of two different copyright organisations, Norstrom did not give them a fair trial.

The court of appeals is currently reviewing the case, reports Arstechnica.com.

The judge is apparently a member of the Swedish Copyright Association, which also includes Henrik Pontén, Peter Danowsky and Monique Wadsted in their membership, lawyers who represented the music industry during the Pirate Bay trial.

He is also a member of the Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property.

However, the Stockholm District Court has denied any bias, telling Swedish paper Svenska Dagbladet that the trial was fair, and that Nostrom was only a member of the organisations to keep up to date with copyright issues.

Should the review into suggestions of bias be proven a retrial will be ordered – however, whether this succeeds or not, it is expected that the quartet will appeal anyway.

Meanwhile, supporters of the Pirate Bay’s views on copyright, The Pirate Party, look set to gain seats in the European Parliament after polling 7.1 per cent in the European Elections at the weekend (June 7).