The Helsinki Court of Appeal hears the appellants’ decision to dismiss all charges of incitement related to the comments of the current Member of Parliament and the former Minister of the Interior. Päivi Räsänen (CD).
The Helsinki District Court acquitted Räsänen of all three charges in March, but said that although his comments were offensive, they were not hate speech.
The allegations concerned Räsänen’s written and oral statements on homosexuality in a case that was considered unique in Finnish legal history, as it was the first time a Finnish court had considered whether borrowing the Bible could be considered a criminal offense.
The prosecutor had demanded Räsänen a fine of 120 earnings-related daily fines from the district court and has since appealed against the court’s decision to dismiss the case.
"This judgment must not become final," prosecutor Anu Mantila told Yle in early April.
Räsänen had denied that he had committed any crimes since the preliminary investigation into his comments was launched, and also denied his guilt in court.
In a press release, Räsänen said he was satisfied with the ongoing legal process.
"Continuation of the case will make it possible to obtain a preliminary ruling from the Supreme Court guaranteeing freedom of expression and religion. This would serve as a legal guide for possible similar claims in the future. I hope that no one else will face similar accusations in the future," Räsänen wrote.
The Court of Appeal has not yet decided on a date for the hearing.
Source: The Nordic Page