The recommended charges against three men accused of assaulting a man in Vantaa in late February have been changed from attempted manslaughter to attempted murder.
The Eastern Uusimaa Police Department wrapped up a preliminary investigation into the case of a Pakistani national who was attacked, reportedly after refusing to give a stranger a cigarette.
Lead police investigator Mikko Minkkinen told Yle News that the recommended charges in the case were upped to attempted murder due to the severity of the attack. Minkkinen went on to explain that the criteria for attempted murder include either a premeditated act or a particularly vicious or cruel offence. In this case the brutal nature of the attack filled the criteria for attempted murder charges.
Pressed on the motive of the attack, Minkkinen said investigators still had no reason to suspect racism was a factor. He said police had a pretty clear picture of events from the victim and an idea about the motive, but would not go into more detail.
Formal charges due in May
The 44-year-old victim had been out for an evening stroll in Kulomäki when he was approached by a man asking for a cigarette. After refusing, the victim was allegedly attacked by a group of men, suffering some 20 knife wounds and a cracked skull. Three young men, around 20 years old, were detained shortly afterwards under suspicion of attempted manslaughter.
According to the Eastern Uusimaa Police Department press release, the victim’s wounds were life-threatening and he would have died were it not for swift treatment.
The victim's wife said her husband was now recovering at home, but that the process was slow. Doctors had told the victim that recovery could take anywhere between one month and a year.
The prosecutor will consider the recommended charges, and has until early May to bring charges against the accused.