Former Finnish PM faces charges

  • 2004-01-08
  • Agence France Presse
HELSINKI - Former Finnish Prime Minister Anneli Jaeaetteenmaeki was charged Dec. 19 for her role in the so-called "Iraqgate" scandal that toppled her government in June, Finnish prosecutors said.

Lead prosecutor Matti Kuusimaeki brought the charge against Jaeaetteenmaeki and former presidential aid Martti Manninen for their role in the scandal that involved a leaked classified document, the head of the public prosecutors international division said.
Jaeaettenmaeki is being charged with "assistance or incitement to the leaking of official secrets," according to one government official.
Manninen, the central defendant in the case, has been charged with "leaking official secrets."
If found guilty the two could face fines or up to two years behind bars.
A date has not yet been set for the trial, but it is expected to take place some time in the spring.
Ahead of the general elections she won last March, centrist candidate Jaeaetteenmaeki was suspected of having pressured the former presidential aid to give her classified documents on then Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen's foreign policy on Iraq.
In Finland, where public opinion was overwhelmingly opposed to the Iraq war, Jaeaetteenmaeki is thought to have won the election partially due to her claims that Lipponen had privately told U.S. President George W. Bush he supported the assault.
Jaeaetteenmaeki had barely made it into the prime minister's seat, however, before she was forced to step down in June over allegations that she had lied about the affair to the Finnish Parliament.