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MP Rydman to file police report over harassment article

An investigative report by Helsingin Sanomat revealed claims by several young women and girls that Wille Rydman (NCP) used his political position to harass them.

Wille Rydman of the opposition National Coalition Party. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

Member of Parliament Wille Rydman (NCP) has told Yle that he is planning to file a report to police over an article detailing his alleged harassment of young women and girls.

"Without a doubt I will file a request for an investigation. It is absolutely impossible to ignore the matter when such outrageous claims are presented in public," Rydman said.

Rydman has been in the headlines ever since Helsingin Sanomat published the story (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on Sunday 19 June, which contained claims by several young women and underage girls that Rydman used his political position to harass them.

"The last few days have been the worst of my life," Rydman told Yle. "Of course, it is not easy to be the target of something like this, especially when the allegations are so outrageous. And also so thinly, if at all, factually based."

He added that he will likely file the request to police next week, as first reported (siirryt toiseen palveluun) by Turku-based newspaper Turun Sanomat.

"These are always difficult questions from a legal point of view, how the request for an investigation must be structured. There are a few technicalities here that are delaying it," Rydman said.

He did not however wish to elaborate on the likely content of the request for the investigation, or which specific allegations contained in the article would be the subject of his request.

"This is something that will be clarified when the request for investigation is filed," he said.

Once a request has been submitted, the police will then decide whether there is enough evidence to launch a preliminary investigation.

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NCP leadership "shocked" by content of HS article

National Coalition Party chair Petteri Orpo told Yle after the publication of the Helsingin Sanomat article that it was "shocking" to read, and added that the party intended to fully investigate the allegations.

Rydman subsequently resigned from the NCP's parliamentary group on an "indefinite" basis shortly after the article was published.

He made the decision to resign after talks with party leader Orpo and chair of the parliamentary group Kai Mykkänen, but Rydman told Yle that it is still too early to consider whether he should set up a parliamentary group on his own.

He further noted that he does not know when the NCP will decide whether or not he can return to the party.

"There has been no talk [of a timetable]. During the summer we will probably be able to set some kind of milestones for the future," Rydman said.