Appeal Court to rule on Iraqi twins Isis case
The Turku Court of Appeal is expected to rule today on the case of twins from Iraq, suspected of committing acts of terror and war crimes. The latest legal round began in autumn last year after the men had previously been acquitted of the charges in Pirkanmaa District Court, with prosecutors alleging the men had taken part in a massacre in Tikrit in 2014. Since then, problems with getting testimony from witnesses in Iraq have caused delays in the appeal process. Both men faced trial because the prosecution couldn’t tell if one or both of the identical twins appears in the ISIS propaganda video, which shows a man executing 11 people in the Iraqi city of Tikrit. The brothers came to Finland as asylum seekers in 2015, and were arrested the same years after tips from other Iraqis who told police the men had appeared in the video. A lawyer for the twins says neither of the brothers took part in the killings. In the Court of Appeal, prosecutors are demanding a life sentence.
False alarm in Iisalmi coronavirus tests
A couple from Iisalmi have been cleared in coronavirus tests after returning from a holiday in Italy. The pair had traveled to Milan and Venice but contacted health authorities when they returned home after becoming ill. They were tested by KYS in Kuopio but were diagnosed with just a mild respiratory sickness, and otherwise in good shape. The government says it will allocate €8.9 million to prepare to fight the epidemic. Authorities can already equip 400,000 healthcare workers with protective gear including respirators, visors, surgical aprons and disposable gloves if the coronavirus spreads, according to officials. Read more at our story here.
Left Alliance criticises Twitter death threats made by local party leader
The leader of the Left Alliance Li Andersson has criticised a local party leader in western Finland after social media posts came to light from 2017 saying “climate change deniers should be shot” and “I think we should kill the fascists.” Misha Dellinger claims that several people have had access to his Twitter account, and that he didn’t write those posts. This morning Li Andersson wrote that the threats “are completely and simply unacceptable and in no way represent the values of the party.” Andersson said that everyone involved with the Left Alliance must commit to human rights and non-violence and that without that commitment they cannot be part of the party’s management team.
Celebrating Finnish Day of Culture
Flags are flying in Finland today to celebrate Kalevala, the national epic literary work written by author Elias Lönnrot in 1835. Today is also known as Finnish Culture Day. Kalevala is based on folk poems that Lönnrot collected in the 19th century. In the early 1800s he made many poetry tours in Finland, across the eastern border and to residential areas to gather together folk story histories and preserve them together in his Kalevala work.
Friday morning weather
The bright and sunny weather we’ve enjoyed for the last few days continues on Friday with lots of sunshine and chilly temperatures around. If there’s a little cloud cover around anywhere on Monday morning it’s in Helsinki, or the far north-west around Kilpisjärvi or far north-east around Inari. Otherwise expect temperatures ranging from -14°C in Oulu to -12°C in Central Finland, -8°C down the Ostrobothnia coast and into Turku in the south-west, -5°C in the capital city region and as low as -21°C around Suomissalmi near the eastern border.