Sunday 9/27/20
TWO MEN JAILED

The day the far right tried to kill a prominent Perussuomalaiset chief

Pekka Kataja, electoral chief of the Central Finland district, was brutally assaulted at his home in Jämsä on 17 July. 

Two men, one of them a Jyväskylä city councilor, have been imprisoned for attempted murder.

 

The day the far right tried to kill a prominent Perussuomalaiset chief

Some far-rightists do not only see enemies in people who come from outside. They also sometimes attack people with whom, at first, it might seem that they share some goals.

The Finnish Central Bureau of Investigation (Keskusrikospoliisi) announced on Friday the arrest and imprisonment of two men allegedly linked to far-right-groups for the attempted murder of Pekka Kataja, an important member of the True Finns Party (Perussuomalaiset), the main opposition group in the Finnish Parliament (Eduskunta).

Kataja, who works for the True Finns as the electoral chief of the district of Central Finland, was brutally assaulted at his home in Jämsä, a small town in central Finland famous for its ties to the paper industry. On 17 July, two men broke into the house and beat him several times with an object similar to a hammer.

As a result of the attack, Kataja was seriously injured and required hospital care. Doctors have warned him that he may now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, he said in an interview with MTV in August.

The victim initially said that the perpetrators were "Arab-looking", but later retracted those claims and said the far-right could be behind the attack.

The police decided to launch an investigation for attempted murder which has progressed well since then.

Two men imprisoned

On 3 September, two men (one born in 1981 and the other in 1976) were arrested in the central Finland area in connection with the events. Three days later (6 September), the Southwest Finland District Court decided to send both suspects to prison.

Teemu-Torssonen-by-Twitter

According to Iltalehti, the youngest of those jailed is Teemu Torssonen, 39, a member of the Jyväskylä City Council who was expelled from the True Finns in 2019.  The party also rejected his parliamentary election candidacy in 2019. 

For his part, Torssonen has accused the Perussuomalaiset party of lying and defamation. According to the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), this suspect is of far-right ideology and has previously been convicted of a firearms crime.

The Helsinging Sanomat newspaper says the other suspect is Tero Ala-Tuuhonen, a member of the far-right group Soldiers of Odin and a former leader of the Alliance of Nationalists, a group that seeks to bring together the far right in Finland.

Tero-Ala-Tuuhonen

* Both images included in this text from Twitter.

Investigation continues

"The preliminary investigation is still ongoing and will continue after the arrests, including hearings and technical investigations," said Crime Commissioner Jussi Luoto, from the Central Bureau of Investigation, in a press release.

According to the Police, the motive for the crime cannot be commented on at this stage of the investigation, because it could harm their work. There are still several hearings underway and investigators do not rule out that there may be more people involved in the crime.

The police still need more information and are requesting observations from eyewitnesses. Any information that may be relevant can be reported on the telephone number 0295 418 622 or by email to [email protected]

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