Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen has ordered the Helsinki Police Department to open a preliminary investigation into Perussuomalaiset Ano Turtiainen's racist tweet.
The True Finns MP made world news two weeks ago after mocking the death of George Floyd, the African-American citizen whose death at the hands of the police unleashed a global wave of protests against racism.
Turtiainen's controversial post also led to his expulsion from the Perussuomalaiset parliamentary group.
The Helsinki police were reviewing the tweet last week after several criminal complaints were filed against Turtiainen. But they did not see at that time any reason to suspect a crime and announced that they would not start a preliminary investigation.
According to the police assessment, Turtiainen's tweet did not amount to slander or insult that met the criteria for an incitement offence. "Mocking a death person is not publishable under law," police also emphasized.
Turtiainen erased the tweet from his timeline and after a few days said it was "a mistake."
But now the situation has changed after the Prosecutor General's decision to intervene in the case. According to the newspaper Demokraatti, Toiviainen said there is a reason to suspect incitement against an ethnic group. Therefore, she wants to know more about the incident.
"Since this tweet can be understood as racist, I think it is important that Turtiainen himself is also heard. Therefore, a preliminary investigation should be initiated," the Prosecutor General told Demokraatti.
The Helsinki police have been forced to change their decision. "The Prosecutor General has assessed the matter differently and submitted and order to the Helsinki Police Department to start a preliminary investigation," police said Monday in a press release.
According to the release, the preliminary probe will be launched "according to the order."