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Finnish court extends pre-trial detention of anti-immigrant agitator Ilja Janitskin

The Helsinki district court conducted Ilja Janitskin's remand hearing behind closed doors on Tuesday afternoon.

Ilja Janitskinia kannattavia mielenosoittajia Pasilan poliisitalon ulkopuolella.
Ilja Janitskin supporters gathered in front of the Pasila police station in Helsinki on 17 April. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

The Helsinki District Court has ordered anti-immigrant website MV-lehti founder Ilka Janitskin to have his pre-trial detention extended.

The court issued its ruling after an in-camera hearing on Tuesday afternoon. Janitskin was repatriated to Finland from Andorra, where he had been evading arrest since 2017.

Janitskin is suspected of a slew of offences, including aggravated ethnic agitation, a number of copyright infringements, issuing unlawful threats, aggravated slander and fundraising felonies.

The court decided that Janitskin should remain in detention over the suspected crimes. The Helsinki court had previously remanded Janitskin into police custody in absentia back in 2016, when he refused to return to Finland from Spain for questioning.

The deadline for prosecutors to press charges is the end of May.

“The preliminary investigation will continue as normal and Janitskin will be questioned in connection with the suspected crimes,” lead investigator Chief Inspector Harri Saaristola of Helsinki police said in a statement.

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