Pirate Bay co-founder's appeal of fraud conviction relies on 'remote control' argument

The trial will just take a couple of weeks, with Jacob Appelbaum called as a witness

Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg's appeal of his conviction on charges of data intrusion, attempted aggravated fraud and aggravated fraud started on Wednesday, with arguments centering on the contention that other parties used the defendant's computer by remote control.

Svartholm Warg in June was sentenced to two years in prison for hacking a mainframe belonging to Logica, now CGI, an IT firm that provided tax services to the Swedish government, and a mainframe used by Nordea bank. He was also convicted of fraud related to a number of attempted money transfers from accounts at Nordea, one of which was successful.

The Pirate Bay co-founder has admitted hacking, but in his appeal is claiming that his computer was remotely controlled by other individuals, according to Charlotte Roos of the Swedish Court of Appeal.

That is why Jacob Appelbaum, who is also the main advocate for the Tor anonymizing network, will be called as a witness, Roos said. "Appelbaum is going to explain to the Court that remote control is possible and how it can be done," she said. Appelbaum is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 4.

Much of the trial will consist of watching videos from the earlier proceedings in the District Court, Roos said, adding that the idea is that the Court of Appeal should base its verdict mainly on the same material as the District Court.

The sentence usually comes a week after the last day of proceedings. The sentence may not be final because the parties involved can appeal to the Supreme Court.

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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