Appeal court dismisses charges against Soldiers of Odin counter-demonstrator

The man had been fined for his involvement in a counter-protest against the far-right group in Tampere in 2019.

File photo of the Turku Court of Appeal. Image: Samuli Holopainen / Yle

An appeal court in Turku has overturned a district court's decision to fine a man for his involvement in a counter protest during a demonstration by far-right group Soldiers of Odin held in Tampere in May 2019.

The defendant had been fined 300 euros by Tampere district court in February 2020 for his role in the counter protest, which had included eggs and stones being thrown at — but not striking any of — the far-right group members.

Two other defendants in the case had the charges against them dismissed by the Tampere court.

In its ruling, the court of appeal said that the defendant had shouted at the far-right demonstrators, but his actions did not meet the legal definition of participating in a violent protest — the charge for which he was fined.

The appeal court therefore squashed the 300 euros fine, but he will have to pay some of his own legal costs.

The case can still be appealed to the Supreme Court.