Wille Rydman (NCP) attended a press conference of the Constitutional Law Committee in Helsinki on 17 June 2020. The 36-year-old lawmaker has accused Helsingin Sanomat of publishing a deeply stigmatising article despite evidence showing that the narrative built in the article is inaccurate. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

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OFFICERS at Helsinki Police Department have opened a pre-trial investigation into a newspaper article that laid out allegations against Wille Rydman, a 36-year-old Member of the Finnish Parliament from Helsinki.

Helsingin Sanomat in June wrote that Rydman has been accused of inappropriate conduct by several young women.

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A report of an offence connected to the article was submitted to Helsinki Police Department on 11 July, according to YLE. Officers at the police department then carried out a preliminary assessment of the case, concluding that a pre-trial investigation is warranted.

“The offences cited in the report of an offence are aggravated defamation and dissemination of information violating personal privacy. The offences may be specified as the investigation progresses,” commented Juha-Matti Suominen, the detective chief inspector in charge of the investigation at Helsinki Police Department.

Rydman has accused Helsingin Sanomat of publishing a deeply stigmatising article even though the journalists had been shown “several pieces of evidence that the narrative they had built was inaccurate”.

The newspaper had good reasons to trust the information and sources it obtained for the article, according editor-in-chief Antero Muukka.

The debate kindled by the article prompted the lawmaker to relinquish his seat on parliamentary committees and the National Coalition Parliamentary Group. He also stepped down from the party’s group on Helsinki City Council.

Police have provided no estimate of the possible duration of the pre-trial investigation.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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