Räsänen has won on one point; prosecutor drops charge for radio show

19-01-2024

Northern Europe

CNE.news

Yle's radio anchorman Ruben Stiller. Photo Twitter

The Finnish politician Päivi Räsänen is no longer prosecuted for her statements in the radio show “What did Jesus think about homosexuals?” Her lawyer says she has “won” this part of the case.

Rasanen_3_Hanne_Salonen_3cce215747.jpeg
Räsänen

In the letter of appeal to the Supreme Court, the prosecutor writes that the charge about the radio interview is no longer part of the case. CNE received the appeal letter from the Supreme Court in Helsinki on Thursday afternoon. In it, the prosecutor gives no further explanation for the decision.

Last week Friday, the prosecutor announced that she would appeal against the acquittal of Mrs Räsänen for the second time. Both the District Court and the Court of Appeal had rejected all charges against the Christian Democratic Member of Parliament and the Lutheran bishop Juhana Pohjola.

Räsänen was prosecuted for three things:

  • First, she tweeted in 2019 that the Finnish Lutheran Church should withdraw its support for the gay pride, since the Bible calls the homosexual practice a “shameful sin”. According to the prosecutor, this demand is demeaning and discriminatory.
  • Second, it became known that Räsänen had written a brochure “Male and female He created them” in 2004 for the Lutheran Foundation. In this pamphlet, she explained the Biblical teaching about marriage and sexuality, and those teachings were seen as insulting by the prosecutor. Also, the director of this foundation, bishop Juhana Pohjola, is kept responsible for the brochure since he ordered its publication.
  • Third, in December 2019, Räsänen was invited by Ruber Stiller to a satirical radio show from the Yle broadcaster titled “What did Jesus think about homosexuals?” In this show, the MP defended the same views but in a livelier way. The prosecutor even demanded the deletion of the records of this program.

Criminal

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Sankamo. Photo CNE

According to Räsänen’s lawyer, Matti Sankamo, the charge about the radio show “was the weakest” in the indictment. “For that reason, I think, they decided not to continue with it.”

From a legal point of view, this charge was not unique either, says Sankamo to CNE from Helsinki. “The prosecutor might still find it insulting what my client said there. But there have been other cases about that. The core of this case is about whether quoting Bible texts can be criminal. You could say that Mrs Räsänen has won the radio part of the case.”

After Friday’s press release from the prosecutor, Sankamo already suspected that the prosecutor had dropped this charge. “The press release only mentions two charges. The appeal letter to the Supreme Court that we received this week confirms that.”

Chain

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