The Pirate Bay’s Gottfrid Learns of Hacking Charges via TV News

Last week Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm was charged with hacking into companies and a bank. While it's no surprise that the news traveled quickly through the media, one might have expected that Gottfrid himself would be one of the first to hear the news. But Gottfrid's mother Kristina informs TorrentFreak that her son learned of the charges by watching TV news in his cell. Even today he still hasn't seen a copy of the lawsuit.

Known online as Anakata, Gottfrid Svartholm is currently detained in a Swedish prison. He was deported from his home in Cambodia last year and has already served eight months of his copyright infringement sentence.

But while his Pirate Bay-related imprisonment is almost over, it is looking increasingly likely that freedom could be some time off.

Last week, prosecutor Henry Olin of the International Public Prosecution Office in Stockholm announced that Svartholm had been charged with several hacking related offenses including serious fraud, attempted aggravated fraud, and aiding attempted aggravated fraud.

Considering the severity of the alleged offenses, one might have expected that Gottfrid himself would have been among the first to be notified of the charges. That wasn’t the case. According to his mother Kristina Svartholm, Gottfrid found out the same way as everyone else – through the media.

“Gottfrid was charged with hacking companies and a bank last week. The charge was presented by the prosecutor last Tuesday, April 16th, and the lawsuit was made public the same day,” Kristina told TorrentFreak.

“When I visited Gottfrid in prison last Friday he told me that on Tuesday he turned on text TV in his cell and found out that he was charged. That was how the news reached him. No other information was available.”

Two days later on Thursday came another surprise when Gottfrid was given permission to visit the store where his things are kept.

“In there, he found a package that had arrived at the prison on March 28th. Someone had put it in the store without giving him any notice about it. The package contained the police protocols but no lawsuit,” Kristina explains.

On Friday when Kristina visited Gottfrid she was able to tell him briefly about the contents of the lawsuit, including the disappointing news that the prosecutor will seek to keep Gottfrid imprisoned when his Pirate Bay sentence is served next month, pending the hacking charges trial.

In the meantime and in an effort to keep Gottfrid informed where the authorities have apparently failed, Kristina has now mailed him a copy of the lawsuit.

“As far as I know there are quite strict regulations for how charges are communicated to suspects. These regulations can hardly have been followed here. Even suspects have legal rights. Among these must be for the suspect to get proper time for reading the police protocols and preparing one’s defense,” Kristina says.

“The time schedule for the trial as announced by the prosecutor would give Gottfrid around a month for his preparations – first in prison and later probably in custody, with few contacts with the outer world. If he chooses to ask for more time this means that he also asks for being imprisoned longer in unsettled waiting.

“I can but hope that Gottfrid gets a fair trial,” Kristina adds. “But with this beginning to the process, I doubt it.”

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