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Anti-immigrant agitator remanded in custody in absentia

Ilja Janitksin, the founder of the anti-immigrant website MV Lehti, has been remanded in custody in absentia. That means the prosecutor can now issue a European arrest warrant. Police want to question him on suspicion of inciting hatred against an ethnic group, and aggravated slander. Janitksin lives in Spain and has said he will not willingly give himself up for questioning.

Ilja Janitskin
Ilja Janitskin Image: Yle

The founder of a popular anti-immigrant website could face arrest and extradition to Finland after a Helsinki court remanded him in custody in absentia. That verdict means the prosecutor can now issue a European arrest warrant.

Police and prosecutor had requested the verdict as they could not locate Janitskin for questioning on charges including aggravated slander and agitation against an ethnic group. He lives in Spain and has said that he may consider seeking asylum to avoid the Finnish authorities.

Janitskin is also suspected of money laundering and gambling crimes, illegal threats, breaches of confidentiality and copyright infringement.

Also on Thursday, the deputy state prosecutor said she would bring charges of incitement to ethnic hatred against a Finns Party councillor in Tampere.

Terhi Kiemunki had made offensive comments about Muslims in a blog post on the Uusi Suomi website. The case will be heard at Pirkanmaa District court but no date has been set for the hearing.

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