The case was assessed by the Administrative Court after Viinanen had filed a complaint about a formal reprimand issued by the Finnish Foreign Ministry, which he claimed was unjustified.
Claims of sexual harassment against the former ambassador came to light in July 2016. A swift internal investigation by the Foreign Ministry concluded that Viinanen’s prospects for continuing in the post had deteriorated and he was promptly reassigned to a ministerial position.
In November of 2016 Viinanen was issued a written warning which stated his behaviour strayed from his responsibilities as an ambassador and high-level official at the Ministry.
Ambassadors held to higher standard
For the most part Viinanen has denied the charges against him however the court found statements given by witnesses were sufficiently detailed and consistent.
The court rejected Viinanen’s complaint and found him guilty of sexual harassment against two female staff members as detailed in the written reprimand.
The court emphasized that as an ambassador, Viinanen had an increased responsibility to behave appropriately.