Robin Lardot, the director of the National Bureau of Investigation (KRP), has been suspended from duty with immediate effect pending the outcome of court proceedings, according to the Finnish Ministry of the Interior.
Lardot has been charged with violation of official duty in a massive malfeasance case revolving around Jari Aarnio, a former head of drug enforcement at Helsinki Police Department.
The Ministry of the Interior on Monday said Lardot has been suspended in order not to jeopardise public confidence in the police during the court proceedings, even though the alleged wrongdoings took place before he assumed his duties as the director of KRP. Lardot, however, is in such an influential position according to the ministry that the court proceedings could impede his ability to perform his duties.
He will be replaced on an interim basis by Tero Kurenmaa, a deputy director at KRP.
Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen charged Lardot with violation of official duty last spring for alleged wrongdoings committed while he served as the head of the National Police Board in 2010–2013. She also brought charges against Chief of Helsinki Police Lasse Aapio, ex-National Police Commissioner Mikko Paatero and ex-Chief of Helsinki Police Jukka Riikonen.
Also Aapio has been suspended from duty. Both Paatero and Riikonen, in turn, have already retired.
The charges are related to the use and registration of police informants in investigations conducted by the drug crime unit of Helsinki Police Department. Aapio, Lardot, Paatero and Riikonen are all believed to have neglected their official duties by failing to address the problems in the informant practices.
The main hearings in what will be the largest police-related criminal case ever in Finland will begin at the District Court of Helsinki in October.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi