The ruling states that it is not illegal "in the context of a public debate, such as on Twitter, to claim that someone is a Nazi". The district court also considers that it was legitimate for Mathias Wåg to say that the 48-year-old was convicted of manslaughter in the context in which the matter was discussed in the podcast.

Lawyer Ängla Pändel, who specializes in privacy and freedom of expression issues, is not surprised by the verdict.

"It was absolutely right," she told Kulturnyheterna.

However, she questions the decision-making process. The Stockholm District Court considered that the Nazi designation on Twitter was not defamatory information at all, but a value judgment and therefore did not examine the matter as defamation. The defamation allegations in the podcast, on the other hand, were tried – and dismissed.

Ängla Pändel believes that the Twitter post should also have been tried:

"Even there, it should have been concluded that it was justifiable in this context," she says.

Mathias Wåg currently works as a publisher at the left-wing newspaper Brand and is a writer for Aftonbladet, but has a background in the left-wing extremist organization AFA, which he according to his own statement in Dagens Nyheter left for many years.

The 48-year-old man was described as a Nazi in the 90s and is today a writer under a pseudonym for the alternative media site Nya Tider. He has previously been convicted of manslaughter and incitement to racial hatred.

Legal trend

In Sweden, several similar legal trials are ongoing regarding defamation complaints from right-wing extremists and the same development has taken place internationally for several years, according to Ängla Pändel.

"A lawsuit is being filed to silence opponents and restrict public discourse. It is both a threat and a problem, she says and continues:

"On the other hand, it is equally important to protect everyone's right to have their case tried in court. It is about finding the boundary between freedom of expression and personal integrity.