This past October, the lawsuit against Ghost frontman Tobias Forge by his former bandmates was dismissed by Swedish courts. Simon Söderberg (Alpha), Mauro Rubino (Air), Henrik Palm (Eather) and Martin Hjertstedt (Earth) sued Forge back in April 2017 for roughly $200,000 claiming missing wages and allowances for several years. After the Linköping District Court looked through a 108 page document, the case was officially dismissed on October 17th, which also resulted in the plaintiffs owing Forge over 145,000 USD.
Since the case dismissal, former members were planning to appeal the case as they believe the judge had a conflict of interest. The former members raised the issue that both the judge and Forge are members of the Svenska Frimurare Orden (Swedish order of Freemasons). According to Corren.se, the Court of Appeal has decided to reject the objection of conflict as they state those in Sweden have the constitutional freedom of association, meaning all citizens have the right to belong to organizations.
Court President Charlotte Brokelind commented (translated via Google):
“Only the fact that a judge and a party in a case that the judge handles are members of the Freemasonry Order does not mean that the judge is disgraceful. This is also in line with the practice of the European Court of Justice.”
Corren.se also reports that based on the Court of Appeal, membership of the Freemason Order has not resulted in the judge and Forge having a personal relationship. The Court of Appeal did mention the judge should have notified all parties involved of his membership once he became aware of Forge’s membership. However, this information wasn’t substantial enough to appeal the case as the Court of Appeal addressed:
“His omission in the aforementioned respect is not in itself sufficient to establish a disqualification.”