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Tuesday's papers: Two court trials to watch, top public company earnings, and an impractical 500K car

On Tuesday papers cover two high profile court cases, CEO salaries and parliamentary boondoggles.

Rajeev Suri
Nokia is still on top in at least one area Image: Jouni Immonen / Yle

The Oulu-based Kaleva newspaper starts our paper review this Tuesday with news on the trial of Abderrahman Bouanane, the man suspected of stabbing ten people in Turku last August. Today Bouanane is expected to take the stand, and Kaleva wonders whether he will change his story again.

The defence has admitted to charges of two counts of murder and eight counts of attempted murder over the stabbing attack, but has refuted that they were carried out with terrorist intent. This even though Bouanane himself admitted in the first days of the trial that he went to the Turku Market Square with a knife in his hand in order to kill.

The suspect changed his story on the first day of the trial, Kaleva writes, saying that his intent after attacking his first two victims was to hide and then continue his rampage. Earlier, the defence had said that he had planned to run off after attacking the first three victims.

The solicitor defending the suspect, Kaarle Gummerus, tells the paper that today's proceedings will seek to determine whether Bouanane set out to strike fear and terror into society. "We will try to ascertain his intent at the time of his actions," Gummerus says.

Will Janitskin stay in jail?

The Joensuu-based newspaper Karjalainen is next up, with a report on another important court trial today, that of anti-immigrant agitator Ilja Janitskin.

Accused of over 40 crimes in Finland, the founder of the MV-lehti nationalist website lived in exile and escaped an international arrest for years until he was finally extradited from Andorra this weekend. He is now being held in police custody in Helsinki.

The paper says the Helsinki District Court will decide this afternoon in a closed session if Janitskin's detention will continue. Finland's Coercive Measures Act says the court can decide to remand a suspect "if it is probable that the person will abscond or otherwise evade the enforcement of the sentence".

Janitskin faces charges for aggravated incitement against an ethnic group, aggravated slander, money laundering, gambling offenses, illegal threats, breach of confidentiality and intellectual property theft, among other things.

CEO remuneration continues to break records

And then to the nation's most widely circulated daily, Helsingin Sanomat, that has a feature on the salaries of CEOs in Finland's listed companies.

This year's analysis shows that the average salary of public company CEOs exceeds one million euros, and the trend of rapid increases in this area continues. In fact, the wages and bonuses of top management in stock exchange-listed firms in Finland are rising at a rate of 6.6 percent annually, which is 13 times greater than that of the average wage earner in Finland (0.5 percent).

Salaries, fringe benefits and cash bonuses of listed company CEOs have increased for five years straight and are now larger than at any time since HS began tracking CEO pay in 2005. The average total earnings – which exclude stock options, other kinds of incentives and supplementary pension schemes – now exceed 1.1 million euros annually for this select group.

The paper reports that the order of the top listed company CEOs has changed this year, with forest products giant UPM's CEO Jussi Pesonen's 2.2 million euros in earnings (salary and bonuses) overtaking last year's winner, banking and finance firm Nordea's CEO Casper von Koskull, with 2.1.

The top earner in this group in Finland in terms of total income (salary, bonuses, share dividends and pension contributions) was Nokia's CEO Rajeev Suri (pictured above). In 2017, Suri received 6.4 million euros in remuneration, the paper reports, although this was down from the previous year, when he earned 9.5 million euros.

Trouble opening the car's doors

And the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat contributes our last story today, about a half-million-euro armoured car purchased by Parliament and used for only three years before it was given to the Finnish Security Intelligence Service, known in Finland as Supo. Supo then donated it to the police, but once the unit that was using it closed down, the car passed into obscurity.

A new tell-all book from the ex-head of the Finnish Parliament's accounting office, Pertti J. Rosila, says the 550,000-euro armoured Mercedes was purchased during Paavo Lipponen's expense-heavy term as Speaker, as leading civil servants convinced him it was necessary for transporting important state visitors. Lipponen himself never used the car.

The armoured car proved to be very impractical, with doors that were so heavy they couldn't be opened if the car was parked on an incline. Rosila says that it was also very expensive to use, requiring 43 litres of petrol per 100km for city driving and requiring new 10,000-euro bulletproof tyres every 23,000 kilometres.

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