Ilja Janitskin, the founder and frontman of the anti-immigrant online publication MV-Lehti, has been sentenced to one year and 10 months in prison.
The District Court of Helsinki on Thursday found him guilty of a total of 16 criminal charges, including three counts of aggravated defamation, two counts of ethnic agitation, and a slew of copyright and secrecy offences.
Janitskin served as the owner, managing editor and editor-in-chief of both MV-Lehti and Uber Uutiset in 2014–2018, according to the court.
“MV-Lehti has published a number of racist and defamatory articles. The articles have included erroneous information and derogatory suggestions, as well as sensitive information about the personal lives of people,” the ruling reads. “Publishing the articles was not in the public interest from the viewpoint of freedom of speech or any other justifiable reason. The instances of defamation were so flagrant that it was justified to intervene in freedom of speech.”
“The motive for the actions was to destroy the reputation and question the professional ability of people in public,” the judges determined.
The District Court of Helsinki also handed down a suspended prison sentence of 10 months to Johan Bäckman, who was found guilty of the aggravated defamation of a journalist working for YLE.
Janitskin, Bäckman and the third defendant, a 54-year-old woman, were additionally ordered to pay roughly 136,000 euros in damages and compensation to the plaintiffs. Sanoma, the publisher of Helsingin Sanomat, for example was deemed entitled to 75,000 euros in compensation for journalistic content used without permission by MV-Lehti.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi