Posted by: bringitup | June 13, 2012

Are the Finnish Supreme Court judges out of their minds or is this about political warfare?

On Friday the 1st of June the Supreme Court decided to sentence Jussi Halla-aho for defaming religion (Islam of course) and for statements about Somali immigrants. The political storm has been what could simply be described as ridiculous and undoubtedly do quite a few Finns agree with the Supreme Court’s decision without actually having the faintest idea of what Halla-aho wrote and what was the background of the writings and how it related to anything.

So what’s all this about?

The whole issue from Halla-aho’s side started rolling in the beginning of 2008 when State Prosecutor Mika Illman (who many view as being an individual who’s waging his own private war on people expressing ideas and views he finds offensive on behalf of some minority groups, dressed with the power of the State Prosecutor) managed to get Seppo Lehto sentenced for defamation and what could be translated to “ethnic agitation”. Seppo Lehto was sentenced to 2 years and 4 months in prison and was also sentenced to pay tens of thousands of euros in compensation.
I’m not personally very familiar with Seppo Lehto as I necessarily don’t agree with his way of expressing his thoughts, however sentencing him for expressing inconvenient ideas and thought is something I hardly agree with, unless he’s been outright calling for someone’s death, and as far as I have understood that was definitely not the case.

During the night of the 18.5.2008 a man, a soldier who had recently come back from Kosovo, shot and killed 2 people outside a club in Rovaniemi, Finland. On the 20.5.2008 in the editorial of the newspaper Kaleva the writer asked if shooting people while drunk was some sort of Finnish genetic feature. This was reacted upon, most likely because of the debate about free speech and Seppo Lehto’s sentencing, and a complaint was made but led to no charges against the paper and was immediately dismissed.

Halla-aho reacted upon this on his blog 3.6.2008 and decided to throw a few baits to State Prosecutor Mika Illman.
The text on the blog did in fact have the topic “A few baits for Mika Illman”.
Based on the dismissal of the complaint against the newspaper Kaleva he threw in a few sentences on his blog which he wrote in the same manner as the text in the editorial of Kaleva but switched a few words. What was drunken Finns and their national and genetic feature of shooting people became Somalis and their national and genetic feature of robbing people and living on welfare. Another was that Muhammed was a pedophile and therefore pedophilia is the will of Allah (not an exact translation by me).
It was formulated by Halla-aho with the question if these were assumptions one was allowed to make.
The text by Halla-aho was pretty much 1:1 to the editorial’s text, and one would have expected this to be just a finger against the possible hypocrites sitting at powerful positions and forcing them to live with their own dismissal.
This was, however, not the case and the circus took off. Mika Illman swallowed the whole bait (and probably a bit more).

In 2010 the Court of Appeal sentenced Halla-aho for religious defamation because of the comments made about Islam and Mohammed, but viewed the writings about Somalis to be expressed in such an equal manner to that of the complaint-dismissed Kaleva article that no action was taken.
This was obviously not enough for State Prosecutor Illman who took the case to the Supreme Court where Halla-aho now was sentenced for the latter part as well which sent the media into quite a storm.

Demands started flying from other political parties demanding that Halla-aho should give up his chair at the Parliament’s Administration committee, which deals with immigration issues, where he sat as chairman.
Halla-aho responded by stating that the sentence was nothing but based on the opinions of a few individuals, that many other politicians with worse criminal history are currently allowed to hold important positions and that the blog had been actively in the media since 2009 and was well known to the voters who voted him into Parliament in 2011.
After a few days of media chaos Halla-aho did resign and suggested that Juho Eerola (True Finns) would take his position at the committee.

My opinion is quite obviously that this sentence is nothing but outright BS, as the exact same formulation made about Finns was not reacted upon by the legal system. The other is that Illman does have a history of spending the taxpayers’ money on, what I already referred to, his own political warfare. I haven’t been able to confirm some details but it seems like Illman is either a member, or former member, of DEMLA which is a strongly left-leaning independent association for lawyers. If this is the case, then I’d outright question Illman’s ability to do his job in an objective manner and do also question how deep this rotten state of the Finnish judicial system goes.
It seems to be quite deep.

Is there something rotten in the State of Finland?

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