Ghost frontman Tobias Forge has received some more good news in the legal battle that has developed between former members of the band and himself. To catch up, four ex-members of the band—Simon Söderberg (Alpha), Mauro Rubino (Air), Henrik Palm (Ether) and Martin Hjertstedt (Earth)—previously filed suit against Forge, claiming that they had entered into a partnership during their tenures in the band as ‘Nameless Ghouls‘. According to the four, that partnership would see earnings from the group distributed more equally between them.
Forge himself disputed that such an agreement ever existed and revealed during the proceedings that the various members were viewed more as session/touring members and were paid as such. The lawsuit going public also shattered the relative anonymity that Forge and most members of the band had enjoyed prior.
The ex-members for their part were seeking access to Ghost‘s financial records during their respective time periods in the band in a bid to seek further compensation for their efforts. That case was eventually dismissed in the Linköping District Court in Linköping, Sweden this past October after the court was unable to find convincing evidence of a partnership between Forge and the former members ever existing. As part of that dismissal, the ex-members of the band were also ordered to cover 1.3 million kronor (roughly $145,000 USD) of Forge‘s legal fees.
However, a few weeks later the former members appealed the dismissal after finding out that the judge who presided over the case, Henrik Ibold, was a member of same fraternal organization that Forge was: the Swedish Order Of Freemasons. They alleged that potential conflict of interest could have made Ibold impartial in his ruling.
Both Forge and Ibold for their part maintained that they had no prior contact with each other before the court proceedings. This leads up to now, with Corren.se reporting that the court has decided to reject the conflict of interest claim and are satisfied that the Forge and Ibold‘s membership did not influence the ruling. They also found that both being members of the same organization broke no local laws.
They did however share concern that Ibold should have made mention of them both being members of the same fraternal order upon his discovery of it. With that conflict of interest investigation out of the way, it seems that the Swedish courts of appeal can now make a ruling on whether or not to grant the ex-members a retrial.