Jari AarnioJari Aarnio, the chief of Helsinki Police Department's drug squad, remains in detention, after the District Court of Helsinki decided in a prolonged hearing on Thursday to extend his detention and the deadline by which charges against him must be brought.

Aarnio – who is suspected of, for example, four aggravated drug offences and aggravated acceptance of bribes – has contested the criminal accusations.

On Thursday, Aarnio was also detained for probable cause of three counts of aggravated abuse of public office, two counts of breach of official secrecy and two counts of incitement to an offence.

Jukka Haavisto, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation, reveals that the new accusations are linked to the use of coercive measures affecting telecommunications. Haavisto declined to elaborate on the alleged breaches of official secrecy but underlined that at present Aarnio is not suspected of involvement in the so-called Putin leak.

Aarnio's defence counsel, Riitta Leppiniemi, slammed the investigators after the hearing, arguing that their actions have made it impossible for her to defend her client.

The defence, Leppiniemi said, was unable to prepare thoroughly for the detention hearing, because the documents related to the new accusations were submitted so late. In addition, Leppiniemi criticised the publication ban that prohibits her from revealing details of the pre-trial investigation to anyone.

“Due to the publication ban, I cannot interview possible witnesses,” she told.

Leppiniemi also revealed that Aarnio has been exceptionally secluded during his remand. “It has been particularly tough because he has not been allowed to contact his family,” she said.

Haavisto rejected the criticism by Leppiniemi, assuring that the defence is notified of developments in the investigation as they occur. “The publication ban, in turn, is standard procedure when the investigation is still ongoing. Its necessity will be re-assessed as the investigation progresses.”

With respect to Aarnio's seclusion, Haavisto declined to comment, citing the court's decision to seal the matter classified.

In addition to Aarnio, one of his subordinates has been detained on suspicion of several malfeasances.

Minna Passi – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Kimmo Mäntylä / Lehtikuva