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Court seals documents as Imatra triple-killings trial begins

A district court in eastern Finland has decreed that health records and crime scene material relating to triple-killings that took place in Imatra, southeast Finland last year should remain sealed. The defendant admitted to killing three women on December 3, but claimed that the act was not especially brutal or premeditated.

Syytetty oikeudenkäynnissä.
The 24-year-old defendant reportedly said the motive for the shooting was to gain access to mental health services and a psychiatric evaluation. Image: Mikko Stig / Lehtikuva

The man accused of shooting and killing three women in Imatra on December 3, 24-year-old Jori Juhani Lasonen, has told psychologists that he committed the act in a bid to be detained or sent to prison.

During subsequent interrogation, Lasonen said that his motive for shooting the victims was to gain access to mental health services and a psychiatric evaluation.

Documents from the preliminary investigation indicate that before the December shooting incident, Lasonen began to fear that he would be killed. They further revealed that the idea of killing people emerged a week or two before the shootings.

Blood samples taken when the suspect was detained showed no sign of alcohol or any narcotic substances.

On Tuesday, the Southern Karelia District Court decided that the defendant’s health records should be kept sealed. The documents include doctor’s certificates, psychotherapist’s statements, autopsy reports and death certificates as well as the defendant’s mental health assessments.

The court also ruled that video material and photographs of the crime scene should be kept confidential.

Prosecutor calls for murder convictions

The defendant’s lawyer said that the accused, Jori Juhani Lasonen admitted to killing three women. However the accused denied that the killings were particularly brutal or even premeditated. Lasonen’s lawyer’s has argued that the defendant is guilty of manslaughter.

However district prosecutor Asser Kuosmanen wants the court to convict Lasonen on three counts of murder. According to the prosecutor Lasonen acted with clear premeditation because he had a loaded gun in his trunk.

Kuosmanen said that Lasonen’s actions were especially brutal, since the victims had no means of defending themselves. He also caused a hazardous situation because his bullets could also have struck other bystanders.

The victims' families are demanding tens of thousands of euros in compensation for the suffering they have endured and expenses incurred. For the most part, Lasonen has accepted the compensation claims.

In addition to a murder conviction, the prosecutor wants a prison sentence and he also called on the state to confiscate the defendant’s firearm and bullets. Kuosmanen said that in handing down a verdict, the court should consider the defendant’s previous deeds, which the prosecutor said shows his disregard.

The court was expected to decide Tuesday night whether or not the defendant is criminally liable for his actions.

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