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Police investigate new suspect in Finns Party attempted murder case

Far-right figure Tero Ala-Tuuhonen is no longer a suspect in the attack against Finns Party aide Pekka Kataja.

Perussuomalaisten Keski-Suomen vaalipäällikkö Pekka Kataja Jämsän torilla 15. elokuuta 2020.
Finns Party aide Pekka Kataja was attacked at his home in Jämsä, Central Finland, in July. Image: Hannu Rainamo / Lehtikuva

Finnish police have identified a new suspect in the attempted murder of Finns Party official Pekka Kataja that took place on July 17.

Police said the individual is registered in the population records of Tuusula, Southern Finland, and has not previously been detained in relation to the incident.

"We have evidence to the effect that there are reasons to suspect him of attempted murder," detective inspector Jussi Luoto told Yle.

Luoto added that far-right figure Tero Ala-Tuuhonen is no longer a suspect in the case. Ala-Tuuhonen was previously remanded on suspicion of the attempted murder but was released earlier this month.

"In our opinion, the preliminary investigation has proved with sufficient certainty that he could not have been at the scene at the time of the incident," Luoto said.

According to Yle sources, the new suspect is associated with Jyväskylä City Councillor Teemu Torssonen, who is currently in custody in connection with the attack. The police are not currently planning to release Torssonen.

Kataja was attacked at his home in Jämsänkoski in Central Finland on July 17. According to him, two men broke in and struck him several times in the head with a hammer or hammer-like object. He had to be rushed to Tampere to be treated for a fractured skull, cerebral haemorrhage, broken ribs and broken fingers.

Detained suspect, a member of the Jyväskylä City Board

The criminal investigation has spawned a political crisis in Jyväskylä, as Torssonen is a member of the Jyväskylä City Board.

A temporary committee appointed by the Jyväskylä City Council suggested the City Board be dismissed due to a lack of confidence. The committee was established as Torssonen had refused to resign from his position.

According to municipal law, a member suspected of a crime may be removed from public office if he or she has been charged. There is no charge against Torssonen, but he is in pre-trial custody.

However, the law allows the entire body to resign and be replaced by a new one. The city council will meet next week.

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