Prosecutor General Matti Nissinen has been suspended indefinitely from office due to him being the subject of a recently completed pre-trial investigation.
Nissinen is suspected of violating his official duties after he advocated for the purchase of education services for the Office of the Prosecutor General from a company the majority owner and board chairman of which is his brother, YLE and Helsingin Sanomat reported on Wednesday.
The Office of the Chancellor of Justice is expected decide whether or not to bring charges against Nissinen in early September.
Nissinen had been on a self-initiated leave of absence since the launch of the pre-trial investigation in March, 2017. He was scheduled to resume his duties yesterday following his decision not to ask for an extension to his leave of absence.
The Ministry of Justice decided to suspend him indefinitely from office after determining that his ability to perform his duties would be impaired as long the criminal process is ongoing.
Nissinen told Helsingin Sanomat that he would have been willing to resume his duties on Wednesday but declined to comment on the issue in any other way.
The Office of the Prosecutor General purchased 74,000 euros worth of education services from the company in question between 2007 and 2017, police officers discovered in the pre-trial investigation. Nissinen himself is not believed to have benefited from the procurements, even though he reportedly advocated actively for the purchases, reports Helsingin Sanomat.
Nissinen has denied all criminal accusations but admitted in public that he acted erroneously, the newspaper writes.
Deputy Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen has been appointed as an interim replacement for Nissinen, according to a press release from the Ministry of Justice. The Finnish government is to submit its nomination for a more permanent replacement to President Sauli Niinistö next week.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva