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MP Kanerva back in court on corruption charges

Last April, Helsinki District Court sentenced the colourful former foreign minister to a 15-month suspended sentence for aggravated acceptance of bribes.

Ilkka Kanerva valokuvassa vuonna 2011.
Kanerva in court in November 2011. Image: Yle

MP Ilkka Kanerva is back in court on Monday for a reconsideration of bribery charges.

Three businessmen, Arto Merisalo, Tapani Yli-Saunamäki and Toivo Sukari, were convicted of aggravated bribery.

They are all now seeking to have those convictions overturned.

Meanwhile the prosecutor wants a longer sentence against Kanerva.

Kanerva was also ordered to be dismissed from his post as chair of south-western Finland’s regional authority, which governs zoning decisions such as those the businessmen apparently hoped to influence. He was found guilty of accepting nearly 50,000 euros worth of gifts from the executives. They showered Kanerva with generous campaign donations and sponsored lavish 60th birthday celebrations for him.

Merisalo and Yli-Saunamäki were sentenced to prison terms of six years and three and a half years respectively. Sukari got off with a suspended sentence.

In 2008, the veteran politician was forced to step down from his post as foreign minister over his use of official telephones to send hundreds of text messages to an erotic dancer.

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