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New Education Ministry director fined for hitting pedestrian on crosswalk

Former Yle editor-in-chief Atte Jääskeläinen was fined nearly 3,000 euros for negligent injury and endangering traffic.

Atte Jääskeläinen, kuvattu 23.03.2017
Atte Jääskeläinen left Yle in 2017 amid a furore over reporting on then-PM Juha Sipilä. Image: Derrick Frilund / Yle

Atte Jääskeläinen, who has just taken over as a Director General at the Ministry of Education and Culture, has been fined for negligent injury and endangering traffic safety.

On Monday, Helsinki District Court fined him for striking a pedestrian on a zebra crossing with his car last November. The victim suffered injuries including broken bones.

The court ordered him to pay 70 day-fines, which based on his income totals 2,870 euros.

According to the court, “the defendant’s crimes are based on carelessness in traffic” and his culpability is increased by the fact that they occurred while the victim was on a pedestrian crossing.

Departure from Yle over "Sipilägate"

Jääskeläinen, 55, served for about a decade as editor-in-chief and head of news and current affairs at the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle). He resigned in 2017 due to a controversy over meddling in reporting over conflict-of-interest allegations involving then-premier Juha Sipilä (Cen) and the state-owned mining firm Terrafame, dubbed "Sipilägate".

Jääskeläinen, a lawyer by training, later served as Professor of Practice at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT).

He took over as head of the education ministry’s Department for Higher Education and Science Policy earlier this month, and is to remain in the post for five years.

Before joining Yle, he held top posts at theFinnish News Agency (STT) and the leading newspaper Helsinki Sanomat.

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