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Finns Party politician denied leave to appeal ethnic agitation conviction

Terhi Kiemunki, formerly of the Finns Party, was convicted for her writings about immigration, Islam and terrorism.

Terhi Kiemunki
Terhi Kiemunki Image: Yle

A Tampere politician has been denied the chance to appeal her conviction for inciting ethnic hatred, leaving her conviction in force. Terhi Kiemunki, a reserve councillor who rose to prominence with but was then expelled from the Finns Party, was fined by Pirkanmaa District court and had the conviction upheld on appeal before seeking leave to appeal to the supreme court.

That was denied, leaving her to pay a 30 day-fine, which represents a proportion of her annual income. Kiemunki herself had asked police to investigate her text on Islam and immigration which were published in the spring of 2016 on the Uusi Suomi website.

Among other things, she had erroneously claimed that all European terrorists are Muslims. After the investigation, prosecutors decided that she had a case to answer and brought charges of incitement against an ethnic group.

Several convictions in the Finns Party

She was expelled from the Finns Party in February 2017 over alleged irregularities with her expenses. Despite her expulsion, she remained on the party's list for the 2017 municipal elections and was re-elected as a substitute councillor.

She also remained as a special advisor for Finns Party MP Lea Mäkipää until August 2017, when Mäkipää left the party for the Blue Reform grouping.

Kiemunki had been removed from her post as a vice-chair of the Finns Party's local chapter in 2016. The party has had several leading lights convicted of inciting hatred against an ethnic group, including former chair of the youth section Sebastian Tynkkynen and MP Teuvo Hakkarainen.

Hakkarainen was also convicted last month of assaulting and sexually assaulting a fellow MP while drunk during a Christmas party in the parliament building. He remains a Finns party member but has given up his role as the party's second vice-chair.

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