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Prosecutors charge ex-drug chief Aarnio and two others over informant management

A corrupt cop and two of his colleagues face formal charges over their management of informants between 2008 and 2013. One of the suspects is Jari Aarnio, who is appealing a combined 13-year prison sentence for drug and other official misconduct offences.

Jari Aarnio
Jario Aarnio in court on 14 March 2016. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

The Prosecutor General has charged former top drug cop Jari Aarnio and two other police officers from the Helsinki police department with negligence in updating source information into the main police informant register. According to the charge sheet, the offences took place between 2008 and 2013.

There is no information yet about a timetable for the case in the district court roster. The matter may be delayed by an ongoing appeal case by Jari Aarnio against a 10-year prison sentence for a raft of drug-related offences.

During a previous trial for drug offences, prosecutors alleged Aarnio passed police funds to organised criminals who were not registered as sources with the police department.

Charges against top brass still pending

Prosecutors are still to decide whether or not to lay charges against former Police Commissioner Mikko Paatero, former Helsinki Police Commander Jukka Riikonen and current Helsinki police chief Lasse Aapio. At the time of the suspected offences, Aapio was deputy police chief. A decision on those charges is expected by the end of the year.

All of the suspects have denied committing any wrongdoing.

The preliminary investigation preceding the charges was wide-ranging: the prosecutor said that pre-trial documentation rung to some 5,000 pages and involved interviews with more than 50 people.

Former Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen put the wheels in motion for a preliminary investigation into police handling of official sources in autumn 2013, when criminal suspicions began to emerge about the activities of the Helsinki police drug enforcement unit.

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