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Convictions on lesser charges in neo-Nazi riot case

The central Finland District Court has thrown out charges of incitement to riot brought against 22 neo-Nazis for an incident that took place in Jyväskylä in 2015. The court handed down fines and suspended prison sentences for lesser charges to eight of the defendants.

Äärioikeiston mielenosoitus Jyäskylässä 1.8.2015
Image: Yle

The central Finland District Court on Friday dismissed charges of incitement to riot brought against members of a neo-Nazi group over an incident that took place in the Jyväskylä city centre in summer 2015.

The group members on trial stood accused of rioting at a department store and in the city centre following a peaceful demonstration.

The court ruled that the incident did not constitute a riot, because the violence involved was not carried out by a group, but by individual identifiable members. As a result the charge of rioting was thrown out.

The prosecution called for a custodial prison sentence for three of the men accused of leading the violence, in addition to several others for their role in the fracas.

However the court sentenced several of the accused on trial – one of the defendants, Jesse Torniainen, was sentenced to 50 days in prison; five others received suspended prison sentences of a maximum of six months, and one was slapped with a day fine.

Torniainen was also recently sentenced in a Helsinki court to two years in prison for aggravated assault at the capital city's Central Railway Station.

The court found the defendants guilty of assault, disrupting officials and gun offences. The sentences are not enforceable.

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