Police release one suspect, arrest another, in political assassination attempt case

Police say the new suspect is a man born in 1979, arrested in connection with a July attack on Finns Party local politician Pekka Kataja in Jämsä.

File picture of Pekka Kataja (in the centre, wearing blue t-shirt), August 2019 / Credit: FB

The National Bureau of Investigations NBI has let one former suspect go free, and arrested another in the case of an attempted political homicide.

Far-right activist Tero Ala-Tuuhonen is no longer considered a suspect in the beating attack on Finns Party local councilor Pekka Kataja during the summer. Kataja also works as a parliamentary assistant to a Finns Party MP.

Kataja was attacked at his home in Jämsä in July and police detained Ala-Tuuhonen and a former Finns Party local politician from Jyväskylä Teemu Torssonen during the pre-trial investigation. Ala-Tuuhonen has been released, while Torssonen is still in custody.

In a new development on Thursday, NBI says it has arrested a man born in 1979 on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with this case.

In the aftermath of the attack on Pekka Kataja, some Finns Party politicians pushed the idea that he’d been badly beaten by foreign immigrants, based on an initial interview that Kataja himself gave.

Although Kataja later walked back those comments, other Finns Party MPs were not so quick to retract their remarks regarding foreign suspects, and have been rather quiet when suspects connected to the far-right were detained instead.