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Court fines former Helsingin Sanomat editor €24k for drink driving offence

Kaius Niemi resigned as editor-in-chief of Finland's largest circulation newspaper after the incident last November.

Kaius Niemi oikeustalon aulassa keskiviikkona 5. lokakuuta 2022.
Kaius Niemi was not in court on Wednesday to hear the verdict. Image: Jani Saikko / Yle
Yle News

The Helsinki District Court has fined the former editor-in-chief of Helsingin Sanomat Kaius Niemi 23,800 euros after finding him guilty on a charge of aggravated drink driving.

The penalty amounts to 100 income-linked day fines.

The incident occurred at about 7am on the morning of Friday 18 November, when security staff called police after they noticed Niemi trying to move his car in the parking garage of the headquarters of Sanoma, which owns the newspaper.

Niemi announced his resignation as editor-in-chief of the newspaper later that day.

"I am deeply sorry about this and have informed the board of Sanoma that I do not think I can continue in my current role as editor-in-chief," he tweeted at the time.

The prosecutor in the case had requested that Niemi receive a suspended 30-day prison sentence for the offence.

"The fine was a bit surprising, but it was well justified," regional prosecutor Sini Pöyry told reporters after the verdict was delivered.

She added that the prosecution does not intend to appeal the conviction.

Niemi did not attend the court hearing on Wednesday, and his defence team has not yet decided whether it will appeal the verdict.

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