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Trial begins in Helsinki library stabbing case

The victim is also suspected of drug offences.

Keskustakirjasto Oodi.
Helsinki's central library Oodi, file photo. Image: Tuomas Uusheimo

The trial of a robbery and stabbing that occurred at Helsinki's central library earlier this year began at the city’s district court on Monday.

A 44-year-old man stands accused of attempted manslaughter and aggravated robbery, while his 25-year-old female companion was charged with aggravated robbery in the incident, which took place in a restroom at Helsinki’s central library Oodi in February.

The two defendants turned themselves into police a couple of days later, in what was initially characterised as a suspected robbery. The stabbing victim also faces a drug offence charge in the incident.

According to the prosecutor, the pair reportedly tried to rob the victim who was allegedly selling the opioid Subutex and the male suspect stabbed him, according to media reports including newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

The victim's injuries required a visit to the hospital but were not life-threatening.

Police have previously reported that the two suspects are a couple and both have denied the allegations against them for the most part, authorities said.

Drug paraphernalia found in restroom

Oodi’s director Anna-Mari Soininvaara previously told the paper she suspected the incident involved drugs, as a syringe and other drug paraphernalia were found in the restroom.

HS reported on Monday that the male suspected of attempted murder was out on parole, having been released from prison in September 2018 after being sentenced to nine-and-a-half years for various charges including manslaughter in 2013.

The prosecutor has demanded a combined sentence for the man in the library stabbing and robbery of at least six years, according to the paper.

An aggravated robbery conviction can result in sentencing of up to 10 years in prison, while the minimum penalty is two years. According to a study by the University of Helsinki the average sentence duration for such a crime is two to four years in prison.

Meanwhile average sentencing for attempted manslaughter ranges from more than two years to around five years in prison.

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