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Delay to trial in asylum-seeker "staged death" case

The prosecutor alleges the accused provided authorities with false information and forged documents on the deported man.

Ali miehen vielä ollessa Suomessa (kuvassa vasemmalla).
The man known as 'Ali' (left) reportedly staged his own death in 2017.

Criminal proceedings against the daughter of an Iraqi man who faked his own death was postponed by Helsinki District Court on Monday due to illness. The prosecutor is also bringing charges against the woman's ex-husband.

The daughter known as Noor and former husband stand accused of aggravated fraud and forgery. The prosecutor has alleged that the accused provided the authorities and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with false information and forged documents on the man deported to Iraq.

In addition, the woman is charged with making a false statement in official proceedings. The prosecutor said it believes the woman lied during the asylum interrogation about the family's background in order to obtain asylum for herself and her father.

The woman has partially confessed to the suspected acts during the preliminary investigation. Her ex-husband has denied guilt in the matter. He was to also go on trial on Monday but the proceedings were cancelled due to illness.

Prosecutor: Man is alive and living in Iraq

The 1971-born Iraqi man sought asylum after arriving in Finland in 2015 but was rejected. His daughter alleged that he was killed soon after he returned to Iraq in 2017 and said she had documents proving her father's death.

Finnish police suspect that he staged his death with the help of his close circle and had the death certificate and police reports of the death forged.

The prosecutor said according to information obtained during the police investigation, the man is in fact alive and living in Iraq.

Police said they also suspect the man and his wife of aggravated fraud and forgery.

Finland appeals to ECHR to review verdict

In the autumn of 2019, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found Finland guilty of violating the human rights of the asylum seeker who was then presumed to be murdered.

According to the ECHR, Finland had made an erroneous asylum decision and had violated Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights pertaining everyone’s right to life and the prohibition of torture and inhumane treatment.

The ECHR had considered the death certificates, photographs and police reports as sufficient evidence of the man's alleged death.

Finland was ordered to pay compensation of 20,000 euros and legal costs of 4,500 euros to the daughter who had lodged a human rights complaint. However, Finland has not paid the woman anything due to the suspected crimes.

In September Finland asked the ECHR to review its decision.

EDIT 11.1.2021 This story was edited to reflect the trial's postponement.

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