District court convicts journalist for Estonia disclosure

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Published 11 February 2024 at 14.04

Domestic. The Gothenburg District Court now convicts the journalist Henrik Evertsson and one of his associates for having revealed the extensive hole in Estonia's hull that was covered up in the 1997 official investigation. The penalty is a daily fine.

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The TV series “Estonia – the find that changes everything” showed a previously unreported hole in the hull of the ferry and prompted new investigations.

Henrik Evertsson and his diving operator were charged with violations of the Act on Peace of Graves but were previously acquitted by the district court, on the grounds that Swedish law did not apply in the area.

The Court of Appeal, however, remanded the case for a new trial and explained that Swedish law applies, even though the journalists used a German-flagged ship.

– There is a strong public interest in maintaining the peace of the graves around M/S Estonia, which is the burial place of a large number of people. The protection of grave peace outweighs the interest in protecting freedom of expression and information, says the court's chairman, lawyer Göran Lundahl.

The verdict will likely be appealed. Not least when freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution, which the so-called grave peace is not.

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