In addition to Yli-Viikari, another director of the agency is suspected of aggravated abuse of office and breach of duty. Yli-Viikari was fired in the summer, another suspect has been arrested. Both have denied criminal suspicions.
Central Criminal Police (krp) has completed a preliminary investigation into the former Director General of the National Audit Office (VTV) Tytti Yli-Viikarin criminal suspicions. The case then proceeds to the prosecution.
Yli-Viikari is suspected of aggravated abuse of office, payment instrument fraud and two breaches of duty.
The suspicion of aggravated abuse of office and breach of duty relates to an employment contract under which a VTV employee was paid two years’ salary without an obligation to work. The agreement was made by Yli-Viikari and the agency’s then administrative director Mikko Koiranen. The dog is also suspected of the same criminal titles.
The police investigation has also included the use of Finnair Plus airports accumulated during Yli-Viikari’s business trips. Krp suspects that Yli-Viikari has used the flight points for personal purposes. In this regard, he is suspected of fraudulent means of payment and breach of duty.
“The preliminary investigation has clarified the instructions and regulations concerning the use of a person’s flight points and travel and the use of flight points. In the light of the preliminary investigation, it is suspected that the official used the flight points accumulated from the missions and thus, in principle, belonging to the employer for personal purposes. However, the ex-post determination of the value of flight points has proved to be somewhat open to interpretation, ”Krp’s Director of Investigation Tommi Reen said in a press release.
Yli-Viikari and Koiranen, who later became the agency’s General Counsel, were arrested in April for suspected crimes. At the end of June, the plenary session of Parliament dismissed Yli-Viikari. It considered that confidence in Yli-Viikari’s conditions and ability to serve as VTV’s CEO had, on the whole, had collapsed due to his actions.
Yli-Viikari and Koiranen have denied having committed any crimes. Yli-Viikari has appealed to the Helsinki Administrative Court about his suspension and dismissal. Koiranen has also complained about his suspension.
Mikko Koiranen thanks the krp for its preliminary investigation and says that it is now awaiting the prosecutor’s decision in the matter.
“From the beginning, I have considered that this agreement with the Chief Inspector does not constitute a crime – no one has been intentionally harmed or sought to profit,” Koiranen says.
According to Koiranen, by contract, the senior inspector’s employment ended at his personal retirement age, which was somewhat over 64 years, when he could have been in office until the age of 68. He was also not paid a full salary for two years, but after six months the salary dropped to 48 percent, Koiranen emphasizes.
“It sought to end the long career of a chief inspector with a contract, which was the most economically advantageous option for the agency and also an acceptable option for him to end his career,” Koiranen said.
BTI has not reached Yli-Viikari to comment on the completion of the preliminary investigation.
VTV’s its task is to verify, inter alia, the legality and appropriateness of the financial management of public authorities, businesses and funds. Parliament appointed Yli-Viikari to head the agency for five years from the beginning of 2016.
Yli-Viikarin Matkustelu had already made headlines earlier. Krp said that the investigation was launched after Iltalehti published in January stories about a strange employment contract for a VTV official and ambiguities related to Yli-Viikari’s flight points.
In February, the Parliamentary Audit Committee also began a study of VTV’s operations. In its report published in June, the committee considered that Yli-Viikari’s activities had significantly undermined confidence in the proper management of the agency’s own financial management and the functioning of internal control, and had damaged the agency’s public image.
The committee drew attention, among other things, to the shortcomings of the travel documents attached to the Director-General’s invoicing and to individual invoicing ambiguities.
In the report an attempt was also made to find out how Yli-Viikari had used the benefits accrued from missions. Yli-Viikari refused to answer the committee’s questions. He considered that the information in the Finnair Plus account was personal.
The committee regretted Yli-Viikari’s silence and undermined the credibility of the Audit Office’s own activities.
“As CEO, he has also left it up to his subordinates to clarify the situation in public and to inform,” the report said.
With regard to the official’s employment contract, the Audit Committee referred to the December decision of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, in which the contract was found to be illegal.