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Räsänen "relieved" after incitement charges thrown out

The trial has been followed closely by religious groups in the United States.

Päivi Räsänen speaking to journalists
Former leader of the Christian Democrats, Päivi Räsänen, speaks to reporters after her original acquittal on incitement charges in August 2023. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle
Yle News

Christian Democrat MP Päivi Räsänen said she was "relieved" after the court of appeal upheld her acquittal on three counts of incitement to hatred.

She thanked God at a press conference on Tuesday morning, saying that she had expected the verdict.

"I never suspected for a moment that I was guilty of anything illegal in my writings or statements," said Räsänen, who added that she hoped her case would set a legal precedent.

"I think that this isn't about my opinions, but about the rights of thousands and thousands of Christians to freedom of expression."

Prosecutors had demanded 120 income-linked day fines in the case, which hinged on Räsänen's public comments about homosexuals.

Helsinki District Court had ruled that her comments had been insulting to gay people, but they did not meet the threshold for a conviction on incitement grounds.

The prosecutor had appealed that verdict, leading to Tuesday's decision at the Appeals Court.

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