22nd May 2022

Former Finnish PM found not guilty

Former Finnish Prime Minister Anneli Jäätteenmäki has been found not guilty of obtaining confidential documents on the Iraq war - a scandal that forced the first female Finnish PM to step down a year ago.

The Helsinki District Court announced on Friday (19 March) that Mrs Jäätteenmäki had been acquitted on all counts.

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Her former aid, Martti Manninen, however was found guilty of violating official secrets and was fined 80 days salary.

Now Mrs Jäätteenmäki (Centre Party) has a chance of making her political comeback at the European Parliament elections in June.

She revealed last month that she had decided to run for a seat in the European Parliament.

"I am relieved by the district court's decision", Mrs Jäätteenmäki said in a statement. At the time when the decision was announced, she was campaigning for the elections in Strasbourg.

The prosecutor will decide next week whether to appeal.

Mrs Jäätteenmäki's career as prime minister lasted only two months before she had to resign in June 2003 following accusations that she misinformed the Finnish parliament and the public over how she acquired confidential Foreign Ministry documents on Iraq.

She used diplomatic documents - which contained information about a meeting between the then prime minister Paavo Lipponen and US President George W. Bush - against Mr Lipponen.

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