Finland's first female PM in court over secrets leak
Thursday 04 March 2004
Last April Anneli Jaatteenmaki became Finland's first woman prime minister. Two months later she became the country's shortest-serving prime minister. And yesterday she was in court, charged with leaking official secrets.
Ms Jaatteenmaki defeated Paavo Lipponen in the run-up to the Iraq war by revealing his talks with President George Bush, whose crusade to oust Saddam Hussein was highly unpopular in Finland. Mr Bush thanked Mr Lipponen for his support before the war, seriously damaging him with voters, especially after his opponent accused him of compromising Finnish neutrality. The issue gave her Green party a narrow lead over Mr Lipponen's Social Democrats, enabling it to form a governing coalition.
Ms Jaatteenmaki is charged with inciting or assisting the breach of official secrets by obtaining information from a presidential aide, Martti Manninen, who is also on trial. They do not face jail, but even a fine will be highly damaging in a country which is the least corrupt in the world, according to Transparency International.
Ms Jaatteenmaki published excerpts of Mr Lipponen's talks with MrBush on her website, and parts were leaked to newspapers. She said the secret documents had been faxed to her unsolicited but Mr Manninen accused her of lying, saying she had pressed him for documents. Ms Jaatteenmaki was forced to resign in June last year andPresident Tarja Halonen sacked Mr Manninen a day later.
The hearing is expected to end tomorrow, with the verdict likely in about two weeks.
- 4 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 5 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
General election: Conservatives mocked online over Boris Johnson's claim of SNP 'jockalypse'
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...