The deputy chairman of the SDP is accused of abuse of office in the case of paying for a visa to Russia from the funds of the city of Imatra

Two members of the Imatra City Council will face trial in the case of buying a four-year visa to Russia.

Chairman of the City Council, Member of Parliament and First Deputy Chairman SDP Niina Malm and 2nd Deputy Chairman of the City Council Erkki Saarimäki (Sin.) Are accused of abuse of office.

According to Special Prosecutor Heikki Yulisirniyo , the more detailed content of the charges will be made public later during the trial in the District Court of South Karelia.

There are no working trips to Russia in the pandemic

The criminal case is related to the fact that Niina Malm approved the payment of the visa invoice. According to the city internal audit, there was no reason for this.

It all started in the spring during an ordinary internal audit of the city of Imatra.

In April 2021, Saarimäki received a four-year visa to enter Russia, although he leaves office at the end of July. An internal audit found that there was no reason to pay for the visa from city funds.

The border town of Imatra actively cooperates with Russia, since it is located just a few kilometers from the Russian Svetogorsk.

However, during the pandemic, joint projects were suspended and no working trains between the countries are currently expected.

Erkki Saarimäki believes that there was a misunderstanding. He assures that when ordering a visa, he asked to issue an invoice in his name. However, he said, the travel agency sent an invoice of € 419.99 to the city. City Council Chairman Niina Malm approved it.

Later, Saarimäki reimbursed the city for the money spent on the visa.