A police vehicle parked outside the Jyväskylä City Library on 31 January 2013The young man from Oulu wanted in relation to a stabbing in the Jyväskylä City Library roughly a year ago may be hiding from the long arm of the law abroad. The suspect was detained in his absence by the District Court of Keski-Suomi approximately a week ago to allow authorities to issue an international warrant for his arrest.

“We have reason to believe that he is or may be abroad,” comments inspector Eila Koivuniemi.

The 23-year-old man is believed to be a part of the trio that disrupted the launch event of a book on the Finnish extreme right in the library on 31 January, 2013. The investigation into the incident continues due to the authorities' inability to locate the suspect.

At present, only a nationwide warrant for the man's arrest has been issued. Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to issue an international arrest warrant will be taken by the prosecutor assigned to the case, Jari Välimaa. He says that the matter is under consideration.

The other people suspected of involvement in the scuffle were nabbed by the police soon after the incident.

Information obtained by Helsingin Sanomat indicates that the young man has been an active member – alongside at least one other suspect – of the Finnish Resistance Movement (SVL), a neo-Nazi organisation.

On its web-page, SVL states that it is part of a Nordic resistance movement active also in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Officers investigating the stabbing have declined to comment on whether they believe the suspect may be hiding in one of these countries.

In addition, the young man has been charged over a pepper-spray attack against Dan Koivulaakso, a left-wing politician, in Oulu some six months before the Jyväskylä incident. Koivulaakso is one of the three authors of the book on Finnish extreme right.

The charge was to be considered at a district court last autumn, but the defendant did not show up for the hearing. He has also been convicted over a scuffle at a campaign booth in Oulu during the run-up to the 2011 parliamentary elections.

Lasse Kerkelä – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Janne Nousiainen / STR