SWEDISH moral standards had to be taken into account when ruling on pictures sent to the territory for processing for adult magazines printed in that country, the High Court ruled yesterday. Deputy Judge Wong ordered the Obscene Articles Tribunal to reconsider its decision that almost 160 photographs and slides intended for publication in adult magazines in Sweden were obscene or indecent. He said the moral standards of the place where the items were to appear should be considered. He was hearing an appeal brought by Well-Tech Colour Separation Ltd and its three directors. The company and the directors were charged with possession of obscene articles for the purpose of publication after the items were intercepted by the Customs and Excise Department as they were being returned to Sweden. A magistrate referred the items to the tribunal. A total of 166 items were sent to the tribunal, almost all of which were found to be obscene or indecent. The court heard that pictures had been sent by Well-Tech's overseas customer, Scan-Mag, for colour separation. The colour separation films together with the slides and photographs were then to be returned overseas. The magazines using them would be in foreign languages and not distributed in Hong Kong. They would be sold in Sweden without restriction. There are at least 22 such adult magazines in Sweden, the court was told. The magazines could be obtained easily by the public in Sweden without any intervention by the authorities, the court heard. They were not against the Swedish Penal Law and had a wide circulation amounting to 20 per cent of the magazine market in Sweden. Deputy Judge Wong said he could not reverse a decision of the tribunal. Two of the adjudicators were chosen from the public to represent public opinion, he said. The High Court could only decide on points of law and order that the tribunal reconsider a decision or determination in the light of a ruling on those points of law. ''I do not think the High Court can determine as a matter of law whether an article is obscene or indecent because to do so the High Court would be usurping the function of the tribunal and [it] would be contrary to the intention of the legislation to do so,'' the judge said. He said there was no information on how the tribunal came to its decision. It was likely that it had erred in its findings by failing to give sufficient consideration to the standards of acceptance of those articles in the Swedish community. They could not have been deemed obscene or indecent in Sweden if they could be obtained easily by the public there, the judge said.