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Police launch investigation into Helsingin Sanomat article on MP Rydman

The newspaper reported in June that Wille Rydman (NCP) used his political position to gain access to young women and girls.

National Coalition MP Wille Rydman (NCP) filed a complaint with police in July. Image: Jari Kovalainen / Yle

Police in Helsinki have opened a preliminary investigation into an article published by Helsingin Sanomat on the behaviour of National Coalition Party (NCP) MP Wille Rydman.

The article (siirryt toiseen palveluun), published in June, detailed claims by several women that Rydman had used his political position to gain access to and harass young women and girls.

The MP filed a complaint with the Helsinki Police Department on 11 July, which led to police conducting a preliminary probe and the opening of the subsequent investigation.

"The request for an investigation includes charges of aggravated defamation and dissemination of information that violates personal privacy. The charges may become more precise as the investigation progresses," Detective Inspector Juha-Matti Suominen said.

According to Rydman, Helsingin Sanomat's article "deeply stigmatises" him, adding that the newspaper's editors ignored evidence "that the narrative it had constructed was not true".

Helsingin Sanomat editor-in-chief Antero Mukka has previously stated that HS had strong grounds to trust the information and sources it had obtained.

Rydman resigned indefinitely from his party's parliamentary group as well as parliamentary committees due to the fallout from the HS article.

Police said they did not want to estimate how long the preliminary investigation will take.