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Finnish Intelligence Bill May Allow to Put Foreign Diplomats Under Surveillance

Sputnik News

16:25 20.12.2017(updated 16:26 20.12.2017)

HELSINKI (Sputnik) - Finland's draft bill on intelligence services may allow conducting surveillance of foreign embassy's employees, Helsingin Sanomat reported on Wednesday.

Helsinki is currently drafting a new intelligence law, which stipulates the expansion of intelligence agencies' rights and powers, including the right to put employees of diplomatic missions under surveillance, even in violation of Finland's existing laws, according to the newspaper.

The draft bill has been revealed after media reports that a Finnish agency which allegedly put Russian troops based on the Russian north under surveillance.

The media reports have sparked a scandal in Finland, with the country's president, Sauli Niinisto, and Defense Minister Jussi Niinisto calling on law enforcement agencies to investigate how the journalists obtained this classified information as its disclosure "poses a risk to the security of the republic."

On December 16, the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reported that there was an intelligence agency in the city of Tikkakoski in central Finland that had allegedly put Russian troops on the territory of the former Leningrad Military District under surveillance. The home of Laura Halminen, one of the authors of the report on the alleged surveillance of Russian troops, was searched the day on Sunday.

The Russian Embassy in Finland told Sputnik that it would not comment on the reports as the issue was "a matter for Finnish law enforcement agencies and Finnish press."


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