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Parliament security boss sacked over ex-PM's scuffle video leak

The former security director told Yle he is likely to appeal the decision.

Video footage of the alleged assault was published by commercial broadcaster MTV. Image: MTV uutiset, Petteri Sopanen / Yle
Yle News

Parliament's director of security Jukka Savola has been sacked for breach of duty and a resulting loss of trust after the leak of a security camera video showing a suspected assault on a former Prime Minister.

Finnish Parliament's Chancellery Commision said the reason for Savola's dismissal was his initial denial that he had leaked security camera footage of an alleged assault on MP Juha Sipilä outside parliament in early January. However the following month, Savola admitted passing the video to media.

The incident took place on 7 January when a passerby approached Sipilä as he was crossing the street near the Parliament building. Police located the suspect during the course of the preliminary investigation but have been unable to determine a motive behind the alleged attack.

The footage was published by commercial broadcaster MTV, and appeared to show the suspect following Sipilä after an exchange of words, and pushing him from behind.

Probe revealed source

Following a Parliamentary investigation into how the footage ended up in the hands of a news outlet, Savola later confirmed in a report that he had handed the material over to the media. He explained that several media outlets had asked to see footage of the incident from the surveillance camera recordings.

He justified releasing the footage saying it was photographed in a public place, and that its disclosure did not endanger Parliament's security protocols.

Savoloa told Yle on Thursday that he will review Parliament's dismissal notice, adding that he would likely appeal the decision.

When the video footage first emerged online, Parliamentary Secretary-General Maija-Leena Paavola said that the surveillance camera footage was, in principle, confidential material and that the Parliamentary Office wanted to determine "how it was possible" that the material was released to the media.

At the time, Paavola told Yle that she considered the release of the footage to be "exceptional."

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