The Finns Party has announced one of its representatives may face charges over his housing arrangement in Helsinki.
Teuvo Hakkarainen and Ville Vähämäki of the Finns Party found themselves in the eye of a media storm last summer after it was reported that the two had received a raised expense allowance for the rent of what turned out to be a sauna in the Finnish capital.
Members of Parliament from outside the capital region are entitled to a supplementary expense allowance of 493.40 euros a month if they rent or own a second home in Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen or Vantaa. Overall, such lawmakers can receive up to 1,809.15 euros a month in tax-free expense allowance from the Parliament.
The National Bureau of Investigation (KRP) on Friday announced Vähämäki is suspected of aggravated fraud.
“One of the Members of Parliament is suspected of aggravated fraud. In the case of the other Member of the Parliament, the threshold for opening a pre-trial investigation was not met,” told the detective superintendent in charge of the investigation, Visa Weckström.
KRP revealed the pre-trial investigation found that the actions of the lawmakers are believed to have inflicted undue losses of 41,000 euros on the Finnish Parliament. Approximately 13,000 euros of the total was disbursed to Vähämäki and 28,000 euros to Hakkarainen.
The case will be presented to a prosecutor for consideration of charges by year-end, according to KRP.
Vähämäki, who has since paid back the roughly 13,000 euros he received from the Parliament, has denied committing any crime or misdemeanour, indicates a press release from the Finns Party.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi