MTV News: Police investigating far-right plot to target minister, prosecutor

The National Bureau of Investigation says there's no specific information that Maria Ohisalo or Raija Toiviainen were targets of any plot although MTV News says their sources indicate otherwise.

Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo (Green) talks to reporters outside House of the Estates in Helsinki, 5th October 2020 / Credit: News Now Finland

The National Bureau of Investigations NBI says it is investigating a “serious and wide-ranging” plot by far-right activists to carry out criminal offenses “against life and health.”

The confirmation comes after MTV News reported on Friday that Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo (Green) and Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen were among the possible targets of the alleged plan, with a police officer among the suspects under investigation.

However NBI denies that Ohisalo and Toiviainen are specifically at risk.

“The persons mentioned in public are not, in the light of the preliminary investigation, exposed to any specific threat and are not parties to the investigation.”

Prime Minister Sanna Marin has also commented on the allegations, wishing “strength and endurance” to Ohisalo and Toiviainen, while later noting NBI had said they weren’t exposed to a specific threat.

Investigators followed leads from summer’s political violence

According to MTV’s reporting, the latest investigation was sparked after an attack during summer on Finns Party local councilor Pekka Kataja, which left the right-wing politician badly beaten. Although he initially blamed “foreign-looking men” for being behind the attack – a baseless accusation that was nonetheless echoed by Finns Party members of parliament – he later walked back on those comments.

Police later detained far-right activist and self-confessed ethno-nationalist Tero Ala-Tuuhonen and former Finns Party Jyväskylä councilor Teemu Torssonen during the pre-trial investigation into the incident. Ala-Tuuhonen was later released, and is no longer considered a suspect.

According to MTV, lines of enquiry thrown up during the investigation into the attack on Pekka Kataja lead police to the alleged plot to commit acts of violence against some politicians and senior civil servants.

Sources told MTV that the home addresses of Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo and Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen were being shared among far-right networks.