The Finnish public prosecutor’s office charged three journalists with the newspaper “Helsingin Sanomat” on Friday with alleged disclosure of secrets, as the medium itself reports.
The case is related to an article published by Helsingin Sanomat in 2017 relating to the Defense Forces Intelligence Test Center and, more broadly, Finnish military intelligence and national defense. The defense asked the police to investigate after the article was published, the newspaper said.
The journalists deny having committed any criminal offense, ‘Helsingin Sanomat’ justified the publication of the article “in a situation in which secret service laws strongly related to the fundamental rights of citizens were enacted”.
“The news test center of the Finnish armed forces received, among other things, with the new secret service laws a much broader mandate to monitor Internet traffic,” said the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Kaius Niemi.
The defense of ‘Helsingin Sanomat’ has meanwhile pointed out that in the accusation of the journalists there are “strong indications of previous censorship or the like”. “It’s a terrifying idea,” said lawyer Kai Kotiranta.
Finland’s Deputy Attorney General Jukka Rappe has admitted that the case is “difficult” to follow up and said the trial will focus on what information about military intelligence could be banned and whether the information was available from public sources.