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Minister launches probe into police use of sources

Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen announced a probe into the use and oversight of sources by police. In a news conference Thursday, the minister accused her police chief of withholding information about the issue and said the inquiry would be conducted by the Office of the Prosecutor General.

Poliisiylijohtaja Mikko Paatero ja sisäministeri Päivi Räsänen poliisin tietolähteiden käyttöä ja valvontaa koskevassa tiedotustilaisuudessa.
Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen has commissioned a probe into how police use and manage sources in their investigations. Image: Yle

Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen said that public information about a recent high-profile police bribery case appeared to contradict facts provided by police top brass.

The Minister said she was therefore commissioning a probe into how police used sources to obtain information because of the contradictory accounts. She added that the prosecutor’s office would determine where to focus their investigations.

She noted that on Wednesday she received information which could indicate that the Helsinki police station did not use methods that conformed to the Police Act, its regulations and recommendations, including with respect to the use of sources or oversight of the use of source information.

Räsänen: Paatero sat on information

Räsänen accused police chief Mikko Paatero of hiding information about how police treated confidential sources. She added that she had also received new information that the Helsinki police had no registered sources.

She declared that there were many risks associated with their source management methods, including legal risk hazards.

“In my view the rule of law cannot be neglected in police operations,” she added.

The minister said that public confidence in the police should not be compromised.

Police chief to ponder his position

Also present at the minister’s news conference police chief Mikko Paatero said he was not opposed to a separate investigation.

He added he could not be proud of the force’s recent actions, and said that he would disclose his own position after deliberation over the weekend.

Paatero also said that there were no clear guidelines on when police sources should be registered.

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