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Police Commissioner's Use of Official Car Probed

A preliminary investigation is being launched against National Police Commissioner Markku Salminen, following a probe by the Interior Ministry. According to the Espoo district prosecutor, the initial probe did not rule out the possibility that Salminen may have misused his official car by driving between his work and home. He is being investigated for breach of official duties. Salminen has said he needed to use the car on a daily basis for safety reasons because death threats had been made against him. He says that he received permission to do so by then-Justice Minister Johannes Koskinen. On Monday, Salminen announced that he had been granted early retirement. The 60-year-old will step down in August. He has been on sick leave since last autumn, when the probe was launched. Salminen took over the top police post at the Interior Ministry in the beginning of 2005. Salminen, who holds a law degree, has worked in law enforcement and corrections for nearly 40 years. He has served as director of both the Prison Service and the Criminal Sanctions Agency. YLE

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