Cambodia likely to deport Pirate Bay cofounder, lawyer says
Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, who was arrested in Cambodia on request of the Swedish legal authorities; is likely to be deported by the Cambodian authorities, Svartholm Warg's lawyer said on Tuesday.
Svartholm Warg was arrested in Cambodia at the request of Swedish authorities, which want him to serve a one-year prison sentence and pay a million-dollar fine for his role in the creation of The Pirate Bay, a site allowing people to track torrent files that they can use to download music and movies among other things.
Sweden and Cambodia however have no extradition treaty so it remained unclear on Monday what would happen next.
"I heard he should be deported," said Ola Salomonsson, the Swedish lawyer who represented Svartholm Warg in the Pirate Bay case and who is trying to assist him now. "But I really don't know when," he said, adding that he had not received a formal confirmation of the deportation order yet. "I heard the authorities intend to expel him or to hand him over," he said, adding that nothing is official yet.
The Cambodian authorities have agreed to deport Svartholm Warg, local news paper the Phnom Penh Post reported on Tuesday, citing the deputy police commissioner. Swedish officials requested Svartholm Warg's deportation due to the lack of an extradition treaty, and the Cambodian government decided to use local immigration law to deport Svartholm Warg, according to the newspaper.
The Cambodian Minister of the Interior still needs to sign the deportation order, the paper said, adding that because the deportation order simply commands that Svartholm Warg leave Cambodia, it is unclear where he will end up.
That sentiment was echoed by Anders Jörle, head of the press service for Sweden's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who said he didn't know what would happen to Warg and had no comment on the matter. He was not able to confirm Cambodia's deportation plans.
Per Hedvall, director at the Swedish Ministry of Justice, said he too could not confirm what would happen to Svartholm Warg. "Expulsions are in any case not a matter for the Ministry;" he said, adding that the decision to expel someone is a "unilateral decision by the expelling state."
It was also unclear to Salomonsson where Svartholm Warg would be deported to or when the deportation will take place. "I know from experience that in some other cases this has taken weeks. So you never know, it maybe a couple of days, it maybe takes a few weeks. No-one tells me anything about the time aspect so I really don't know."
Swedish authorities may be hoping Svartholm Warg will end up in neighboring Thailand, with which Sweden has a treaty allowing the transfer of enforcement of sentences.
Loek covers all things tech for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org