The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) suspects a Iraqi man who was previously thought to be dead of aggravated fraud and forgery, according to information obtained by Yle.
According to that information, Yle reported that police suspect the man staged his own death. Yle’s source also indicates that the man is currently in Iraq.
Last week it was reported the man’s daughter was remanded into custody by Finnish authorities, and suspected of helping her father fake his death.
The 44-year-old man arrived in Finland in 2015 and sought asylum but was rejected. He returned to Iraq in 2017 and shortly after his return it was reported in Finland that he had been murdered.
Two years later Finland was ordered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to pay 20,000 euros to the man’s daughter, after ruling that the authorities had violated the man’s right to life and put him at risk of torture.
Now, police suspct that the EHCR’s decision was based, at least partially, on forged documents.
Finnish investigators want to contact the suspect, but it is not known whether an attempt to bring him to Finland will be made or if he will be questioned in Iraq.
Finnish police said the interrogation of the man’s daughter had been going well, according to the head of investigation Jan Aarnisalo.
“Last Friday’s arrested suspect (the daughter) clarified the course of events. The interrogation confirmed the perception that the Iraqi man (the father) is alive,” Aarnisalo said, who noted there are other persons of interest in the case.
He would not comment on those individuals but did confirm that the daughter is not suspected of having acted alone.
“All indications are that this was a planned act in which several persons were involved. I am not going into the number of suspects because there are no [staff] able to reach them yet,” he said.
“According to information obtained during the preliminary investigation, Finland did not make an error in rejecting the man’s asylum application in this case. Based on our investigation the man had not been persecuted in Iraq before coming to Finland,” Aarnisalo said.
Yle has attempted to interview the suspect’s daughter, but she has been reluctant to comment on the investigation.