Candles at the murder scene near Koskela Hospital in Helsinki on 29 January 2021. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

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OFFICERS at Helsinki Police Department have opened a preliminary inquiry into the actions of school and child welfare officials in the months and years leading up to the murder of a 16-year-old boy in Koskela, a northern neighbourhood of the Finnish capital, on 4 December.

The purpose of a preliminary inquiry is to determine whether there is reason to suspect that a crime has taken place and open a formal pre-trial investigation.

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Helsinki Police Department on Monday stated that the objective of the inquiry is to determine whether the actions taken by officials were sufficient in light of the long-running bullying and repeated assaults endured by the murder victim. Helsingin Sanomat in January revealed that the victim had been bullied throughout primary school – not only by the three murder suspects but also by other pupils.

“Our effort to look into the issue has only begun, and this is the extent to which we will discuss it at this point,” said Jonna Turunen, a detective chief superintendent at Helsinki Police Department.

Turunen added that the actions of officials have been under investigation and discussed with the party since the launch of the murder investigation.

The murder investigation was wrapped up and its findings presented to a prosecutor for consideration of charges last week. Charges against the three 16-year-old suspects must be brought by 5 February.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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