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Oulu politician wins defamation case against journalist, gets slapped with ethnic agitation charges

The politician is also an anti-immigration activist and has a previous conviction for ethnic agitation, for which he was fined.

Junes Lokka, Martina Kronström ja Johanna Vehkoo Oulun käräjäoikeudessa
Junes Lokka (standing left) was charged with ethnic agitation on Friday. Image: Timo Heikkala / Lehtikuva
Yle News

Oulu city councillor Junes Lokka was served with charges of ethnic agitation on Friday. The charges involve two suspected offences, according to the Oulu prosecutor’s office.

Lokka is accused of uploading a recording of anti-immigrant and Islamophobic speech from a Helsinki demonstration on Facebook and YouTube.

The city councillor is also an anti-immigration activist and politician and has a previous conviction for ethnic agitation, for which he was fined.

Journalist convicted for calling Lokka "racist", "Nazi"

Also on Friday, an Oulu court convicted and fined journalist Johanna Vehkoo for defamation, after she called Lokka a "racist" and "Nazi clown," among other things.

The court found that Vehkoo’s comments constituted a personal attack on Lokka and that she did not focus her criticism on his politics. It sentenced Vehkoo to pay a 15-day fine in its ruling.

Vehkoo was also ordered to pay Lokka 200 euros for the suffering he experienced. She was also told to pay the complainant’s legal fees, which amounted to 6,000 euros.

Vehkoo is a co-founder of the Finnish investigative journalism site, Longplay and also received a freedom of speech award from the Finnish chapter of the international journalists’ organisation PEN in February.

Vehkoo’s lawyer Martina Kronström told Yle that her client was stunned by the outcome and intended to appeal the verdict.

Vehkoo had previously said that she considered Lokka’s criminal complaint to be a form of harassment against her due to her job as a journalist. Vehkoo is a contributor to Yle’s "Lie detector" (Valheenpaljastaja) series, which largely deals with fake news.

Lokka’s spokesperson Teemu Lamberg said that he did not know whether or not Lokka also intended to appeal the sentence.

Edit: Updated at 6.00pm on 12 April to reflect the fact the Junes Lokka is also a politician.

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