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Valkeakoski double murder trial begins

The prosecution says the two suspects should face life sentences for their crimes.

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File photo of the door to the Valkeakoski flat where the bodies of two men were found in January. Image: Marjut Suomi / Yle

The trial of two male suspects in a double murder, which occurred in the southern town of Valkeakoski in January, began at Pirkanmaa District Court in the Tampere region on Wednesday.

The prosecutor has called for life sentences in the murders, which took place at an apartment in a residential area of the town. Rescue services were alerted to a fire alarm at the flat and after extinguishing it, discovered the bodies of two men.

According to police, the victims had been brutally assaulted before their deaths and the suspects had attempted to conceal their crimes by setting the apartment on fire.

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Kartta, jossa Tampereen ja Valkeakosken sijainnit.
Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Police claim that the suspects then took one of the victim's cars to escape the scene. The vehicle - which had also been set ablaze - was later found by police about 25 km northeast of the city, in the neighbouring town of Akaa.

Following an investigation into the burned car, the suspects - both from the city of Tampere - were later apprehended by police in Akaa. The male suspects and victims were all between 30-40 years of age at the time of the killings.

Prosecution calls for life sentences

The prosecutor characterised the crimes as particularly callous and cruel, and called for life sentences for the two suspects. The prosecutor alleged that the victims had been severely beaten before their deaths.

The suspects face additional charges of aggravated assault, arson as well as theft and causing damage to a motor vehicle.

A third defendant also stands accused of helping the suspects evade police, and faces paying a fine. The prosecutor said the third defendant allowed the two murder suspects to stay at his home, permitted them to burn the items used in the crimes and gave them a change of clothing.

Both of the suspects have been in custody since being caught by police in January.

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