Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen on Wednesday announced she has brought charges of violation of official duty against ex-National Police Commissioner Mikko Paatero, ex-Chief of Helsinki Police Jukka Riikonen and ex-Deputy Chief of Helsinki Police Lasse Aapio.
The charges are related to the suspects’ alleged failure to address the widely publicised issues in the use and registration of police informants at the Helsinki Police Department.
Paatero and Riikonen are believed to have violated their official duties in 2009–2013 and Aapio, who is currently the Chief of Helsinki Police, in 2012–2013. All three suspects have denied the accusations that they failed to monitor the operations of the drug enforcement unit at Helsinki Police Department.The unit was led by Jari Aarnio, who is currently on trial for violation of official duty and has already been sentenced to 13 years in prison for a slew of aggravated drug offences.
“The Aarnio case with all its offshoots is the most serious challenge in the history of the Police of Finland,” comments National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen.
He assures that the practices pertaining to the use and registration of police informants have been re-examined during the course of the pre-trial investigation. “The new guidelines do not leave room for any interpretation,” states Kolehmainen.
The pre-trial was opened at the request of the then-Minister of the Interior Päivi Räsänen (Christian Democrats) in November, 2013. She commented yesterday that she at the time looked into the use and registration of informants at other police departments and was left with the impression that narcotics officers had their own rules in Helsinki.
Räsänen said she felt she had no other choice but to file a formal request for inquiry to ensure the practices are subjected to external scrutiny. “The decision was very heavy and unusual, but as the minister I thought it was the only way to get to the bottom of things,” she explained.
“There can be no unmonitored policing in a country founded on the rule of law,” stated Räsänen.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi