Senior police officers cleared in misconduct court case

The trial was linked to the actions of disgraced drugs squad boss Jari Aarnio who has been convicted of a number of serious offenses.

File photo of judge holding documents / Credit: iStock

A group of senior policemen have been cleared of misconduct charges at Helsinki District Court, in a case that put some of Finland’s most high profile officers in the dock.

The head of the National Bureau of Investigation Robin Lardot; Helsinki Police Chief Lasse Aapio; ex-National Police Commissioner Mikko Paatero and former Helsinki Police chief Jukka Riikonen had all been facing misconduct charges relating to the handling of confidential informants.

The court had been deciding whether the officers knew about the practices of Jari Aarnio, who failed to register official sources when he was the head of Helsinki’s drugs squad.

Aarnio has already been tried and convicted on a number of serious offenses but this current case was about other police in his chain of command, what they potentially knew about what he was doing, and whether they should have intervened.

The court ruled that recording the names of sources and the information they gave would not have been legal at the time Aarnio was running the drugs squad, and also that when managers found out about what was happening they took action.

Both Lardot and Aapio were suspended from their jobs while the court case was ongoing, and they are both expected to return to work now.

Prosecutors could appeal the verdict if they want to.