Sweden is a small pond with some fish that are just way too big for it. It’s not adjusted to the situation of globalisation which has made it very open for corruption. In Sweden a lot of the basis for legal work is based upon the view that Swedes are not corruptable and have a high standard of ethics. For instance are all the layjurors in court cases appointed by the political parties in power which is an absurd situation.
I just want to describe some of the people making the decision about my “plea“. It’s just to point out how small this country is and for people to realize how obvious the outcome of the plea will be.
Primeminister Fredrik Reinfeldt
He’s famous in Sweden for going on election with saying that “we can’t hunt down a whole youth generation” (in regards to file sharing). After IPRED was instated he argues “well, I meant we as in the police, we’re letting the rights holders do it instead“.
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt
One of the most controversial politicians in the history of Sweden. Countless scandals and still is not kicked out of the government. A company he’s been a board member of is being investigated for genocide, he changes his story about his involvement every now and then. He’s also a personal friend of Karl Rove and he’s suspected of being the one with the connections to the US in the latest Wikileaks-cable talking about The Pirate Bay.
Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask
Beatrice Ask is a long time Pirate Bay-enemy. She’s publicly said that TPB puts shame upon Sweden during the ongoing court cases. People got so upset about this that they created a small webpage where you could send an e-mail to Beatrice Ask saying how much you disagreed with her. The swedish government webpage went down because of the traffic and later started blocking all the (legit) requests of sending e-mails regarding TPB.
She’s also been a big supporter of the Medina report, which was a declaration from the EU-parlament regarding IPR. Quote from the report:
32. Approves the action of various national judicial systems against internet sites that illegally disseminate works on line (e.g. ‘The Pirate Bay’);
She was asked about if Sweden was going to sign this document, with TPB actually named in it, as well as being tried in court in Sweden, but had no issues with signing.
Beatrice Ask also thinks that harsher measures than just IPRED should be instated in law. Her crazyness doesn’t stop there – she once said that suspected sex offenders should get a letter from the police with a special purple coloured envelope in their mail for public shame… just for being suspected.
But the most interesting thing is of course her attitude regarding Jim Keyzer, the corrupt police officer in this case. When questioned about her feelings about a police officer starting to work for one of the sides in an ongoing court case she feels that it’s just proof that swedish police are highly sought-after and that they are professional enough to don’t let the conflict of interest be an issue. It’s not only Ok, it’s actually a good thing in her view.
Nothing too surprising though, seeing that the US has been happy with their cooperation with the department of Justice in Sweden regarding file sharing issues. A cable released by WikiLeaks shows that the US understood that it was a sensitive topic with file sharing in Sweden so they’ve been doing things “behind the scenes” instead with great success. A cable where The Pirate Bay is specifically mentioned.
Beatrice Asks reply to all of this was that it’s nothing special and that the person who wrote in the, highly classified internal cable, that their cooperation was done behind the scenes “probably wrote so just to get a higher salary“.
Interestingly enough she agrees that a minister should not talk about an ongoing court case, even though she did that a couple of times regarding TPB. Maybe she forgot. And maybe the next minister on this list forgot that too?
Minister of Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth
Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth is another quite controversial minister in Sweden. She’s made international headlines with beheading a cake portraying a black woman. And she made a couple of headlines with her support for the outcome of the first court case. Here’s a video of her answering the question on what she’s going to do to help culture workers in Sweden.
For those who don’t speak swedish, she’s mentioning that she was happy with the outcome of the case since it’s a good thing for the cultural workers. She forgot/ignored that it was ongoing and that saying this definatly sent a message to the appeals court about what the minister thought they verdict should be. This is actually illegal in Sweden.
But she didn’t just mention it in public. She also mentioned it when she was having dinner (invitational only) with the record industry. She stood up holding an ad-hoc speech saying that she was happy with the outcome of the court case, just a few days after the first verdict. It had still not been ratified and it was public knowledge that it would be appealed. And she was getting free food, drinks and a gift from the people that actually sued us… I wrote a small debate article about it in a swedish newspaper. The worst part is probably that she had no clue about the details of the court case, and ignored all of the issues with corrupt police Jim Keyzer and the biased judge Thomas Norström. She still thought it was correct. And in saying so, also the part about me getting convicted, with no evidence for involvement nor actual responsibility for the site.
These are some of the most powerful people in Sweden. They are already upset about TPB and everything about it because they’ve been exposed as being partial, involved or ignorant about the situation. This is a really crappy situation for democracy and human rights – you should never be tried by people that have a personal interest in your case. This is one of the most basic human rights.
So it’s kind of interesting that at the same time Sweden is a candidate for the Human Rights Council at the UN, saying that “Promoting and respecting human rights is a core commitment and a central priority for the Swedish Government“….
There’s a swedish saying: “Städa framför egen dörr“, roughly translated into “Clean in front of your own door first“. The problem might not be the corruption itself, but the ignorance about corruption existing or being a problem at all. This is what’s needed for Sweden to keep being democratic.