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TPB: Nawty Tommy Norström
It's not enough justice is done. Justice must also be seen to be done.
STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) -- The furore over Stockholm district court magistrate
Tomas Norström grows to a deafening roar and starts reverberating around the planet. Most major media sources have come out and condemned him. The damage to the country's reputation has been considerable.
They're ridiculing Sweden, writes Metro's Kristoffer Rengfors.
Technically Incorrect's Chris Matyszczyk's article on the subject was a series of broadsides even Horatio Nelson would have been proud of.
'Swedes tend to be charming. They try to live a decent life. They try to consider the good of society. And they have really committed themselves to producing great male and female golfers', he starts off innocently enough.
'However I was fairly turned to purée by the words of the judge in question. Judge Norström said every time I take a case I evaluate if I consider myself having a conflict of interest. In this case I didn't find to have one. I know there must be some of you out there who are asking the question how hard did you look? I find myself asking the question how hard is your head?'
Appearances Are Everything
Richard Koman of ZDNet Government is equally damning.
The legalities of Swedish judicial ethics aside, this seems to me to be very bad form for a case of such public interest and import. A judicial system needs to appear - and be - independent and unbiased. To then find out that a judge has very definite leanings towards one party really makes a mockery of the unbiased judiciary.
And the Others?
A spokesperson for the Swedish media streaming community has another interesting observation.
One thing surprises me - namely that the plaintiffs couldn't figure this out themselves. They can't have believed this wouldn't eventually come out. For things like this always creep out. They lose even more face - and they've already run their reputation into the ground.
The only possible conclusion is Danowsky, Norström, Pontén, and Wasted were desperate - they had to risk it.
Comments from people outside the entire file sharing debate at The Local seem to sum things up rather eloquently.
'How embarrassing for the Swedish justice system', writes 'Gower76'. 'The highest profile case in years, one that's being observed all round the world, and the judge is effectively working for the prosecution. Disgraceful. Like the previous poster, I'm against piracy - but I'm even more opposed to corruption in the judiciary.'
'Oh dear! That the judge does not see any conflict of interest is hardly an objective assessment', writes 'Keith #5083'. 'He should have stepped down prior to the start of the case. I am not in favour of piracy nor am I in favour of manipulation of society by power groups. The judgement is forever tainted. Justice should not simply be done - it should be seen to be done.'
At least one of the defence counsel (Per Samuelsson) has already requested a retrial. Whatever the outcome: Tomas Norström has done more for the file sharing cause than the Pirate Party could ever do. And if Ladbrokes are taking bets on the outcome (of course they are) then you won't get much for your money on an epic win for TPB. But the odds are still stacked against the Stockholm magistrate coming out of this one with his reputation and job intact.
Metro: After the Pirate Verdict - Sweden Ridiculed
Technically Incorrect: Why Pirate Bay Judge Shouldn't Have Heard Case
ZDNet Government: Pirate Bay Judge is Member of Copyright Association