The convicted journalists used classified documents in their work on an article on the Signal Intelligence Center. The documents included, among other things, confidential information about the center’s operations, duties, organization, capacity, and acquisitions, writes Svenska Yell.
In December 2017, the report was published in the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. According to the public prosecutor, the published text contained information that had to be kept secret to protect Finland’s external security.
Think about gravity
The current responsible publisher and Helsingin-based editor-in-chief Sanomat Antero Mocha told SVT that they did not publish confidential material in the article. He takes the sentence seriously and considers appealing it. At the same time, he is relieved that the district court did not follow the prosecutor’s line. The prosecutor claimed that all of the defendants knew the article contained information that had been classified on national security grounds. It requested a suspended sentence of 1.5 years in prison for the three defendants.
– The process itself damaged the freedom of the press in Finland. Antero Moca says threats to imprison journalists are enough to have a deterrent effect on coverage of national security and military affairs.
The two journalists’ chiefs were acquitted, while they are now on trial for revealing state secrets. The journalists deny any wrongdoing.
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