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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 17:46 GMT
Trial of former Finnish PM ends
By Lars Bevanger
BBC, Oslo

Anneli Jaatteenmaki in court on Friday, 5 March
Ms Jaatteenmaki will receive her sentence in two weeks
The trial of Finland's ex-Prime Minister Anneli Jaatteenmaki has ended with the prosecution's call for fines for her and a former presidential aide.

They are charged with misappropriating secret foreign ministry documents.

The information from the documents is widely believed to have helped Ms Jaatteenmaki win last year's elections.

She had to step down after only two months as Finland's first female prime minister following the allegations and now her career hangs in the balance.

Ms Jaatteenmaki was charged with illegally acquiring and leaking confidential documents.

If found guilty, her political enemies will want her out of parliament and her plans for a seat in the European parliament will be at the very least weakened.

Conflicting evidence

In court the two defendants have been giving conflicting evidence.

Ms Jaatteenmaki said she had never asked to see the documents, which detailed talks between her predecessor as prime minister, Paavo Lipponen, and the US President, George W Bush.

The presidential aide who faxed the documents to her maintained she did ask to see them.

Ms Jaatteenmaki had accused Mr Lipponen of undermining Finnish neutrality by promising President Bush to support the Iraq war.

This information is widely believed to have secured her narrow win against Mr Lipponen, who was her main rival in the parliamentary elections last spring.

Sentencing in the case is expected in two weeks.

Former Finnish PM goes on trial
03 Mar 04  |  Europe
Leak scandal sinks Finnish PM
18 Jun 03  |  Europe
Country profile: Finland
26 Sep 02  |  Country profiles

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