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HS journalists face prosecution over intelligence centre story

A story published in 2017 revealed some details about the Finnish military's intelligence service.

Helsingin Sanomien selvitys ilmestyi lauantain lehdessä 16. joulukuuta 2017
The probe began after this story was published. Image: Timo Jaakonaho / Lehtikuva
Yle News

The Deputy State prosecutor has filed charges against three Helsingin Sanomat employees over an in-depth look at an intelligence facility located in Central Finland, published in 2017.

The three have been charged with disclosure of state secrets or attempted disclosure of state secrets. The offences carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison; however it is unlikely that a non-suspended jail term would be imposed.

The pre-trial investigation found that HS had not used illegal means to acquire the documents, so the charges relate to the publication of the information they contained.

Kalle Silfverberg, who at the time headed up the politics desk at HS, and reporters Laura Halminen and Tuomo Pietiläinen are the journalists facing prosecution. They have denied all charges.

Silfverberg and Halminen declined to comment on the prosecution, while Yle was unable to reach Pietiläinen.

The paper's editor-in-chief Kaius Niemi and another editor, Esa Mäkinen, were also suspected of crimes but don't face prosecution.

Prosecutors said that it was unclear whether either of them had advance knowledge of the story's content.

Police have launched a separate investigation into how classified information ended up in Helsingin Sanomat's possession. Yle's sources indicate that the suspect in that investigation is former head of Finnish Military Intelligence, Georgij Alafuzoff.

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