Finns Occasion pulls assist for candidate convicted of kid abuse | Yle Uutiset

The candidate’s name and picture were covered up on outdoor posters in Kannonkoski.

Image: Juhani Sorri

The Finnish party has withdrawn support for a local election candidate convicted of aggravated child sexual abuse and other charges.

On Friday, the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reported that the Satakunta District Court had been convicted Raimo Helenius up to 1 year and 10 months trial period in 2017.

In total, the newspaper found five local candidates convicted of sex crimes, four of which involved children. Two of the candidates represent the Finnish party, one each from the National Coalition Party and one from the Center Party.

Also on Friday, the news magazine Suomen Kuvalehti reported that a Green candidate was suspected of engaging in sex trafficking in Tampere.

Yle publishes Helenius’ name because of the social importance of the matter. Yle couldn’t reach him to comment on the matter.

In an interview with the newspaper Jyväskylä Keskisuomalainen, Helenius denied having committed the acts for which he was convicted. He added that he would withdraw his candidacy, although this was no longer technically possible since the start of the vote.

Helenius is a candidate for the local council in Kannonkoski, a town with 1,300 inhabitants, about 100 km north of Jyväskylä.

Kataja “amazed”

Pekka KatajaThe polling officer for the Finnish nationalist party in central Finland told Yle he was baffled by the case. Kataja said the party is unaware of the condemnation, despite trying to find out as much as possible about the background of each aspiring candidate. Applicants are also required to sign a document stating that they have no criminal convictions or pending criminal proceedings.

According to Kataja, the party was deceived.

“I am amazed that someone with such a background and such conviction would try to be a candidate. He was clearly told that if anything in his background was doubtful, it would certainly get 100 percent out of the media. This contradicts every common practice. ” Sense, “said Kataja.

Jyrki NiittymaaThe head of the Central Finnish District of the Finnish Party was also surprised. Niittymaa, reached at a party conference session, admitted that it is possible to become a local candidate for election by lying.

“We always do our best to check the candidates’ backgrounds, but there seems to be room for improvement. It is unlikely that this system will ever be completely watertight in any party,” Niittymaa told Yle.

Candidate to be removed from future ads

Kataja says Helenius’ name and picture will be removed from future advertising and hidden on outdoor posters displayed on official shelves.

However, a candidacy cannot be withdrawn after the lists have been published. The pre-vote is already under way.

According to Kataja, it is rare to keep a criminal conviction secret. In general, the candidates are well known locally that such things cannot be hidden, he said. He has only remembered one such case since starting the party’s regional election officer in 2008.

“In the 2012 election, a person was nominated with a recently suspended sentence. The case became known before the outdoor advertising was printed so we could remove the candidate from the signs,” he said.

The pre-voting began on Wednesday for the local elections on June 13, with the period being extended to two weeks for the first time. By Friday evening, 7.6 percent of those eligible to vote had cast ballot papers.

Kataja was the target of an assassination attempt last summer, a case that remains unsolved.

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