The scene of the widely discussed murder in Koskela, a northern neighbourhood of Helsinki, on 3 September 2021. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)


THE YEARS-LONG prison sentences handed down to three teenagers for murdering a boy of the same age in Helsinki last December will be carried out.

Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday reported that the defendants, despite initially expressing their dissatisfaction with the ruling, did not file an appeal against the ruling delivered last month in the closely followed case by the deadline for appeal, 4 October.

Read more:

“After examining the situation from all sides, we thought this was the best option,” Seppo Heikkilä, the defence counsel of one of the defendants, stated to YLE.

Yrjö Reenilä, a special prosecutor assigned to the case, told Helsingin Sanomat that the decision not to file an appeal came as a surprise.

“The main argument of the defence was that it wasn’t a premeditated homicide. Two of the [defendants] admitted to committing aggravated assault and aggravated negligent homicide, and one to committing assault,” he reminded.

The District Court of Helsinki demonstrated some lenience in sentencing by sentencing the offenders to prison terms ranging from eight years and two months to 10 years and one month, citing the young age of the offenders and relative lack of premeditation as mitigating factors. The prosecution had demanded that all defendants be sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison.

Reenilä told Helsingin Sanomat that the prosecutors might have considered appealing against the penalties in their counter appeal, which was to be issued in response to an appeal from the defence.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT