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Ministry Considering Inspection of Security Police

The Ministry of the Interior is considering an inspection of the Security Police (SUPO) and its classified materials. Over the past few days there has been a heated debate over whether the Security Police should release the so-called Rosenholz material with data concerning agents of the former DDR Stasi secret police, including some Finns. National Police Commissioner Markku Salminen told YLE Friday that he is considering if the Interior Ministry should take an active lead and publish the information which it can release. However, he pointed out that the materials in the possession of the Security Police are its responsibility and the Ministry cannot make a decision about release on its behalf. Salminen added that the Security Police enjoys the confidence of the Interior Ministry. According to Commissioner Salminen, the announced resignation of Security Police director Seppo Nevala is in no way connected to the debate surrounding the Stasi files. Holmlund: No hurry According to Interior Minister Anne Holmlund there is no hurry to find a solution to the issue of publication of the Stasi materials held by the Security Police. Holmlund says that her September schedule includes time to better familiarize herself with SUPO activities and at that time she will likely have talks on matters related to the issue. The Interior Minister is taking the position that increased parliamentary oversight of the Security Police can be taken under consideration, but she has also noted that it has to be remembered that some of the information held by SUPO is such that it cannot be published. Aamulehti: SUPO misled leadership The Security Police withheld intelligence data concerning Finnish spies from senior government officials, the newspaper Aamulehti reported on Friday. Editorial staff at Alma Media, the company that owns the newspaper, said Halonen believed her transparency guidelines from the year 2000 had allowed Finnish researchers to investigate intelligence archives. In reality, the CIA had already delivered information on the spies to Security Police in the 1990s. The police however did not pass on this information to Halonen. The Rosenholz material contains data on spies for the former DDR Stasi secret police. It is said to include a few Finnish names. President's Office denies claims The Office of the President Chief of Staff Jarmo Viinanen on Friday denied the Aamulehti report claiming that the Security Police had misled President Halonen. Minister of Interior Holmlund also said Friday that she has not received any misleading information from the Security Police. President Halonen said on Thursday that she hopes that any cover-up surrounding the Stasi materials affair would come to an end. She said that the materials should be made available, at least to the extent that there can be no claims of secrecy. Hautela: no reason for secrecy The chairperson of Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee, Green MP Heidi Hautala says that there is no reason under national legislation, nor international agreement to continue to keep the Rosenholz materials classified. Hautala pointed out on Friday that both the United States and Germany declassified Rosenholz materials in 2003. She was also critical of the fact that the Security Police has been allowed to act independently in a matter which would have required political leadership and transparency. YLE

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