Svartholm blijft in Zweedse detentie zonder aanklacht

Update 31 oktober: Lees het verslag van Patrick McGuire bij reacties. Over de pre-trial detentie en de criminalisering van Gottfrid Svartholm en Julian Assange. Als Zweden geen rechtsstaat is, wat is het dan wel? 

Medeoprichter van The Pirate Bay Gottfrid Svartholm Warg blijft nog minimaal twee weken in detentie zonder aanklacht, aldus TorrentFreak. Vorige maand werd-ie door samenwerking van Zweedse en Cambodjaanse autoriteiten in Cambodja opgepakt, gearresteerd en naar Zweden getransporteerd. Daar kwam-ie 3 weken geleden aan. Volgens aanklager Henry Olin is verlenging van de detentie nodig om Svartholm te verhinderen met anderen contact te hebben. Critici zien in zijn arrestatie politieke druk van de Amerikaanse regering.

Svartholm is in pre-trial detentie, in het Zweeds Häktning. Het Committee for the Prevention of Torture van de Raad van Europa heeft dat herhaaldelijk bekritiseerd. Het conflicteert niet alleen met het idee dat iemand onschuldig is tot het tegendeel bewezen is, maar kan iemand voor lange tijd isoleren. Dus zonder contact met de buitenwereld. Da’s inhumaan. In 2010 kregen 1200 personen compensatie omdat achteraf bleek dat ze ten onrechte waren vastgehouden. Deze rechteloze praktijk wordt door supporters van Julian Assange gezien als reden dat de Amerikanen Zweden als doorvoerland voor Assange kozen. Assange verstoorde die opzet door naar de Ecuadoriaanse ambassade in Londen te vluchten en daar asiel aan te vragen wat-ie kreeg van Ecuador.

Er is nog een opvallende overeenkomst tussen de zaken van Svartholm en Assange. Dissident en voormalig Brits ambassadeur Craig Murray sprak eind augustus 2012 voor de Ecuadoriaanse ambassade in Londen over de criminalisering van klokkenluiders en politieke dissidenten. Volgens Murray worden ze nooit bestreden voor de zaak die ze aan de orde stellen, maar beschuldigd van criminele zaken die daar niks mee te maken hebben. Svartholm zou het Zweedse IT-bedrijf Logica dat werkt voor de Zweedse belastingen gehackt hebben. De noodzaak voor zijn detentie zou zijn dat-ie anders het bewijs in zijn zaak zou kunnen beïnvloeden. Net als Assange is Svartholm niet formeel aangeklaagd. Gottfrid Svartholm heeft eveneens voor WikiLeaks gewerkt.

Foto: De ministers van Buitenlandse Zaken van Zweden en de VS, 2011: Carl Bildt en Hillary Clinton


5 gedachten over “Svartholm blijft in Zweedse detentie zonder aanklacht

  1. WikiLeaks’ And Pirate Bay’s Web Host PRQ Raided By Swedish Police

    The Stockholm-based web host PeRiQuito AB, or PRQ, has long attracted some of the most controversial sites on the Internet. Now it’s attracted a less friendly guest: Sweden’s police force.

    Stockholm police raided the free-speech focused firm Monday and took four of its servers, the company’s owner Mikael Viborg told the Swedish news outlet Nyheter24.

    While a number of bittorrent-based filesharing sites including PRQ’s most notorious client, the Pirate Bay, have been down for most of Monday as well as PRQ’s own website, Viborg told the Swedish news site that the site outages were the result of a technical issue, rather than the police’s seizure of servers. And it’s not yet clear exactly whose servers the police seized: PRQ’s two thousand or so customers have at times included WikiLeaks, the North America Man-Boy Love Association,, the Chechen rebel site Kavkaz Central, and the defamation-accused Italian blog known as Perugia Shock, among others.

    “Even though I loathe what they say, I defend them,” Viborg told me when we spoke last August, regarding his most controversial clients like and NAMBLA. “We don’t cooperate with the authorities unless we absolutely have to.”

    As of last summer, Viborg said that PRQ continued to host WikiLeaks. But he told me that the company no longer had any direction connection with the Pirate Bay, which has instead bounced among temporary hosts since its founders were convicted of copyright theft in 2010.

    Two of the three Pirate Bay founders also created PRQ in 2004, and one of them is Gottfrid Svartholm, a 27-year old Swede who was arrested in Cambodia last month after being convicted of copyright crimes in absentia, and is now also being charged with hacking into the IT firm Logica.

    PRQ has been raided twice before: In 2006, to gather evidence in the police investigation of the Pirate Bay, and again in 2010, in an operation targeting a filesharing network known as “the Scene.”

    WikiLeaks noted the raid in its Twitter feed Monday, describing PRQ as “one of a number of ISPs used by WikiLeaks.” But as of Monday afternoon, the secret-spilling site hadn’t been taken offline.

    As I learn more about the PRQ raid, I’ll post an update. For now, even PRQ’s owners may not know the reason behind the raid. Viborg has told me that the company has a policy of no-questions-asked service for many of its customers, even accepting cash payments up front to avoid requiring any bank payment details that might identify its server room’s inhabitants. “Generally we don’t know who our customers are,” Viborg said. “By Swedish law, we’re not required to.”


  2. Hackers’ new warning: Sweden’s Riksbank next
    Published: 3 Oct 12 17:12 CET |

    Hacktivist network Anonymous has warned that Sweden’s Riksbank will suffer a cyber-attack on Wednesday night, citing retaliation for Tuesday’s police raid on PRQ – the previous hosts to The Pirate Bay and whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks.

    “It’s come to our attention that Swedish government raided PRQ servers in order to shut down numerous file sharing and torrent websites,” wrote the Anonymous group on English-language image board website 4chan on Wednesday.

    “This has gone too far. This is unacceptable. Anonymous says this stops right now. You don’t fuck with The Internet… Today we hit their wallets hard.”

    The message continued by explaining that at 10pm on Wednesday the group will carry out a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack on Sweden’s Riksbank website.

    During a DDOS attack, a website is bombarded with communication requests so that the servers become overloaded and the site crashes.

    The Riksbank is taking the threat seriously:

    “We recognize this as a public threat against websites and we are always trying to keep the web as safe as possible. We have people who are responsible for taking care of the web and IT security,” said Charlotta Edler, spokesperson of the Riksbank to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper (SvD).

    Police are also looking into the matter.

    “We’re taking this threat as seriously as we did those previous. It’s hard to judge which are most serious, but anyone handling IT should ensure that the systems can withstand threats,” said Anders Ahlqvist, an IT crimes expert with the Swedish police.

    Throughout Wednesday, many university sites around the world were also hacked, including Sweden’s Uppsala and Lund universities.

    Over 100 universities were hacked worldwide, according to Sweden’s national broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT), including Cambridge in the UK and Harvard, Princeton and Stanford in the US.

    The warning for Wednesday night’s attack came soon after the official website of Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) went down on Tuesday night, although no one has so far claimed responsibility for this.


    By Patrick McGuire

    After covering the Kafkaesque nightmare of the Pirate Bay’s current legal predicament and the apparent infowar against pirates in Sweden, it appears that Gottfrid Svartholm—one of the Pirate Bay’s founders—has now been sent to solitary confinement in Sweden.

    If you’ve been following along, Gottfrid was extradited from Cambodia back to Sweden after dodging a one-year prison sentence he owed the Swedes for running the Pirate Bay. In addition, he’s been charged with hacking into a Swedish IT consultancy firm called Logica. It seems that those charges are what’s keeping Gottfrid in an extended detention period before even facing a trial for these new hacking charges. This seems like an extreme measure to take against a non-violent offender who has not been tried for half of the accusations that have been laid against him. Maybe it’s to keep a skinny, bearded hacker away from hardened criminals, but if Torrentfreak is correct (and that’s always a dice roll), he’s currently locked down for 23 hours a day.

    In an effort to investigate a Swedish legal matter from Canada, I reached out to my pal Rick Falkvinge who founded the Swedish Pirate Party. It just so happens that Rick lives right beside the institution where Gottfrid is being held. You can see Rick’s photo of the sleek mega-jail below. The building labeled “Sollentuna” is a shopping center.

    Since Gottfrid Svartholm has no access to computers or any type of media whatsoever, the interview requests that I’ve tried to float out to him have fallen on deaf and imprisoned ears. Rick, a “trained telegrapher from the Army,” even tried to reach Gottfrid via Morse code for me. In an email, Rick explained: “I tried Morse code using the flashlight on my cellphone, and I could see the reflection of my light in the mirrored windows of the jail building, so I’m certain it could be seen from there. Whether Gottfrid is held on this side of the facility, was awake and looking out the window, is of course another matter.”

    Over email, I also spoke to Kristina Svartholm, Gottfrid’s mother, regarding her son’s detention. Kristina has set up an email address where fans, followers, supporters, and whoever else can send Gottfrid letters in jail. I asked Kristina why she thinks Gottfrid has been placed into solitary, and she replied: “the prosecutor has claimed that Gottfrid could destroy evidence, disturb the investigation, and even commit crimes if he wasn’t being held in custody with these restrictions… I wish to point out that there are two more persons involved in the same hack thing that he is suspected of now. Both have been kept in custody earlier but both are free now, presumably free to do whatever they wish. This makes the need for ‘solitary confinement’ even more puzzling.”

    When I asked her if she thought that legislation regarding these supposed informational crimes that occur online should be changed, she was firm about the ridiculousness of Gottfrid’s extreme detention: “I feel ashamed of Sweden now that I realize what the Swedish rules permit as to keeping people in custody under conditions like these. No one should be kept away from communication with other people for this long—close to six weeks by now—especially not without knowing when the isolation ends. A UN expert on torture condemned such action a year ago—to me that is enough for changing legislation; for the Swedish government and its Ministry of Justice it is obviously not.”

    It’s impossible not to compare Gottfrid Svartholm’s detention to Julian Assange, the man behind WikiLeaks, being stuck in Ecuador’s embassy in London for five months and counting. Both men are at least, in part, the brains behind the world’s two largest portals of information that openly offend the copyright and confidentiality laws of most civilized countries. Both men are also being accused by Sweden of crimes that are completely separate from their involvement with these sites. Neither Gottfrid’s hacking charges, nor Julian Assange’s sex crime charges (supposedly, he forced sex upon a woman, bareback, while she was sleeping, after having consensual sex with her earlier that day), have been properly heard in court.

    As the Guardian reported, Assange’s desperate attempts to prevent extradition to Sweden for his alleged sex charges were based on the country’s “very unusual and quite oppressive pre-trial detention powers.” He is also worried of being extradited to the US for charges against WikiLeaks. While Gottfrid does owe the Swedish government a one-year sentence for the Pirate Bay, the prolonged detention that is associated with his supposed hacking into the Swedish Logica is a completely separate matter.

    The reasoning for this seemingly open-ended and inhumane solitary confinement is very unclear, and the extreme measures that the governments of the Western world love to inflict upon copyright violators, information rebels and hackers, is worrying for the future of an open, democratic and free internet. In the meantime, the Pirate Bay is still going strong. Instead of keeping their servers in one physical location, they’ve spread their hosting out across multiple cloud servers all around the world, which is going to make shutting down the Pirate Bay an international effort and a highly complicated legal procedure that won’t be happening any time soon.


  4. Pingback: Antwoorden Rosenthal over Assange zijn onjuist en defensief « George Knight

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