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Mariapori v Finland

Prosecution of tax advisor for defaming inspector

In Mariapori v Finland (ECHR – 6 July) a Finnish tax adviser (M) had given evidence for a defendant who was convicted of tax fraud. M subsequently published a book in which she accused a senior tax inspector of having ‘committed perjury fully knowingly and intentionally’ and accused another inspector of having acted dishonestly with regard to the case.

She was charged with ‘aggravated defamation’ convicted and given a suspended sentence of four months’ imprisonment. She was also ordered to pay legal costs of €33 390 and compensation of €4 000 to the inspectors. She applied to the ECHR contending that her conviction and imprisonment had been a breach of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECHR reviewed the evidence and held that M’s prosecution ‘pursued the legitimate aim of protecting the reputation or...

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