Swedish court OKs Pirate Bay co-founder Svartholm Warg's extradition to Denmark

The decision to extradite the Pirate Bay co-founder can be appealed

The Swedish Nacka District Court has ruled that Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg may be extradited to Denmark to face hacking charges, the court confirmed Tuesday.

The green light to extradite Svartholm Warg was given Monday, said Josefin Holmgren, a law clerk at the Nacka District Court. The extradition approval is not final yet though. Svartholm Warg can appeal the decision within a week, Holmgren said.

Svartholm Warg has been involved in a lawsuit in Sweden since he was charged with hacking the IBM mainframe of Logica, now CGI Sweden, a Swedish IT firm that provided tax services to the Swedish government, and the IBM mainframe of the Swedish Nordea bank. He and three others allegedly tried to transfer an amount of a little more than US$900,000 from eight Nordea bank accounts.

Only one attempted money transfer succeeded though, according to the Swedish prosecutor. In that case, 24,200 Danish kroner (approximately US$4,300) was transferred form a Danish Nordea bank account, according to the Swedish prosecutor.

The Danish want Svartholm Warg because he is a suspect in a hacking case that is similar to the Swedish one, said Swedish public prosecutor Henrik Olin on Tuesday. Svartholm Warg is suspected of hacking into the mainframe of CSC, a company that is the equivalent of Logica in Sweden, Olin said.

Danish chief prosecutor Dorit Borgaard, who filed the request to extradite Svartholm Warg, said on Tuesday she could not reveal much about the reasons for filing the request other than that the Danish "have reason to suspect that he has taken part in criminal activities" that affect Danish citizens or Denmark.

"We have an ongoing investigation," she said, adding that the procedures have taken place behind closed doors.

Borgaard declined to comment on questions about CSC.

The Pirate Bay co-founder's possible extradition to Denmark was arranged via a Nordic arrest warrant, Olin said. Court decisions on a Nordic arrest warrant are a formality, Olin said. "There is no legal review of the evidence in the case," he said.

While the rule is that Svartholm Warg has to be surrendered to Denmark within five days after a final decision has been made, Olin can decide to delay the enforcement of the decision, he said. That is probably what is going to happen, he said.

First, Olin will wait for a decision in the Swedish case against Svartholm Warg that is scheduled for Thursday, he said.

If Svartholm Warg is sentenced on Thursday, he can appeal the case, said Olin. "Most probably I'll wait until the [Swedish] court proceedings are finalized," he said. If Svartholm Warg must serve a prison sentence, Olin is probably not going to delay his transfer to Denmark until after this sentence is served, he said.

Another possibility is to sent Svartholm Warg to Denmark for a certain amount of time, after which he can return to Sweden for further legal proceedings, Olin said.

"It is normal procedure that particularities [of an extradition] are discussed between the prosecution services," Borgaard said.

Svartholm Warg has been extradited before. He was a fugitive from a Swedish jail sentence after being convicted for copyright violations in relation to the work he did for the Pirate Bay. In September 2012 he was arrested in Colombia and deported to Sweden, where he was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Logica hack.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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