|In Sweden, the District Court in Uddevalla has ruled in the long-running case against the alleged organisers of the 2007 European Poker Challenge, which included the founder and former Chief Executive Officer for 24hPoker.com, Per Hildebrand.|
The court sentenced two of the six defendants to jail terms of six and eight months while two other defendants received a fine. Hildebrand and another person, believed to be an employee of 24hPoker.com, were both acquitted on all charges.
The six were charged after police raided a poker tournament in the Swedish town of Grebbestad on March 23 last year and shut it down amid claims that it had been organised illegally. Prosecutor Barbro Jonsson told the Court that the European Poker Challenge had been held previously in 2005 and 2006 and presented evidence found on seized computers that an agreement existed between 24hPoker.com and Grebbestad Poker to promote the event. She also pointed out that the participants were able to qualify online via 24hPoker.com.
The District Court ruled that the tournament contravened the Swedish Lottery Law as it had not been arranged for private purposes and was available to the general public and online. It found that two of the defendants from Grebbestad Poker were responsible for organising the tournament and passed the jail sentences.
However, the Court stated 24hPoker.com were only sponsors of the event and did not actually arrange the tournament, thereby acquitting Hildebrand and his colleague.
A lawyer speaking on behalf of those convicted stated that they would appeal the decision.