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True Finns Councillor Fined for Defaming Religion
Jussi Halla-aho, a member of the Helsinki City Council, has been found guilty of defamation of religion by the Helsinki District Court. He was ordered to pay a fine of 330 euros. However, the court dismissed a charge of inciting hatred against an ethnic group.
Prosecutor Simo Kolehmainen said Halla-aho had publicly defamed the Islamic faith in his blog writings. Halla-aho has also written derogatory statements about Somali immigrants on his internet site.
The prosecutor said Halla-aho's writings insulted Muslims residing in Finland and endangered religious peace.
Halla-aho admitted to writing the comments, but denied that they were intended to defame. He said the comments had been taken out of context, adding that he was not guilty of any criminal offence.
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