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Prosecutors file charges over suspected assault on former PM

Former Prime Minister Juha Sipilä was allegedly attacked as he crossed the street near Parliament buildings in January.

Eduskunnan turvakameran tallenne kansanedustaja Juha Sipilään kohdistuneesta hyökkäyksestä 19. tammikuuta 2021.
Video footage of the incident appears to show the suspect following Sipilä after an exchange of words and then push him from behind. Image: Eduskunnan videotallenne

Prosecutors have filed charges with Helsinki District Court over a suspected assault on former Prime Minister and current Member of Parliament Juha Sipilä (Cen).

The incident took place in early January near the Parliament building in downtown Helsinki when, according to reports at the time, a passerby approached and then pushed Sipilä while he was walking over a pedestrian crossing.

Police were unable to determine a motive for the suspected assault during the pre-trial investigation, but believe the suspect identified Sipilä and apparently attacked him on a whim.

The suspect has denied he assaulted the former Prime Minister.

The incident was captured by surveillance cameras in the vicinity of the parliament buildings.

Video material of the incident, which was first published by commercial broadcaster MTV, appears to show the suspect following Sipilä after an exchange of words and then pushing him from behind.

The former PM stumbles and then stops, after which the suspect begins to follow him again.

Following the incident, Sipilä told MTV that the suspect had attacked him with his fists.

Jukka Savola, Parliament's former security director who was sacked for leaking the footage to the media, previously told Yle that the MP was crossing the road when a person pushed him from behind and then left the scene.

The summons application and the preliminary investigation report will become public when the matter comes before the district court, unless the court rules otherwise.

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