A co-founder of popular file-sharing website The Pirate Bay has been arrested in Cambodia at the request of Sweden, where he faces a one-year prison term for violating copyright laws, authorities said today.
Cambodian authorities arrested Gottfrid Svartholm Warg on Thursday at a home he had rented in the capital, Phnom Penh, national police spokesman Kirth Chantharith said.
“He is being detained in Cambodia and we are waiting to expel him,” Mr Chantharith said.
Cambodia has no extradition treaty with Sweden but has requested details of Svartholm Warg’s crime in order to process his handover, he said.
Mr Svartholm Warg and the site’s three other founders were convicted in 2009 by a Swedish court of assisting copyright infringement by helping millions of the site’s users to illegally download music, movies and computer games.
All were sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay 30 million kronor (€3.5m) to entertainment companies, including Warner Bros, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Columbia Pictures.
Mr Svartholm Warg failed to show up at an appeal hearing in 2010. At the time, his defence lawyer told the court he had received text messages from his mother saying her son had fallen ill in Cambodia and would not appear in court.
The appeals court reduced prison sentences for the other three co-founders from one year each to between four and 10 months and raised the amount they have to pay in damages to the entertainment industry to 46 million kronor (€5.9m).
All four defendants denied the charges, arguing that The Pirate Bay does not actually host any copyright-protected material itself.
Instead, it provides a forum for its users to download content through so-called torrent files. The technology allows users to transfer parts of a large file from several different users, increasing download speeds.