HS Turku The advertiser lured Ilpo Härmäläinen to his sailboat and murdered him 27 years ago – This is a historic verdict

The time between a homicide and a conviction is the longest in the legal history of independent Finland, says Tatu Hyttinen, Assistant Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Turku.

As an advertiser known Lasse Lehto68, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Turku lawyer Ilpo Härmäläinen murder. The District Court of Southwest Finland convicted Lehto of a 1994 manslaughter on Friday.

The 68-year-old man has been publicly called an advertising man because he owned an advertising agency at the time of the crime in the 1990s.

According to the district court, Lehto had the motive and the necessary means to carry out the murder. The defense also failed to present a credible alternative course of events or other possible external factors.

Read more: Prosecutor: Lawyer fired lawyer Ilpo Härmälä twice “cowardly in execution style”, wrapped this body and immersed it with an anchor to a depth of more than 40 meters

Homicide is the longest period in the legal history of independent Finland, says Assistant Professor of Criminal Law Tatu Hyttinen From the University of Turku.

Older homicides have also been prosecuted, but in these cases the verdict has been acquittal.

The triple murders in Lake Bodom took place in 1960, and the only survivor was tried in 2005. The court sentenced the man to acquittal.

The 1987 homicide at Viking Sally went to court last year, 34 years later. The District Court of Southwest Finland released the accused, but the case will be heard in the Turku Court of Appeal later this year.

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“Rejecting the charges in the old cases is never in itself a surprise, because it will be more difficult to prove the case over the years,” says Hyttinen.

He points out that in cases of homicide, problems can be caused by the fact that the death expires in 20 years.

“Thus, in cases more than 20 years old, it should also be proven that it was precisely the murder in question. Otherwise, the charge must be dismissed on the ground that the act is time-barred. ‘

Murder never expires unlike murder. Convictions of murders more than ten years old are also rare.

In 2018, the North Karelia District Court dealt with the disappearance of more than 13 years old. The court sentenced a 41-year-old Ilomantsi man to 9.5 years in prison for killing a missing man. The body of a victim of a homicide has never been found.

The woman from Espoo was the victim of a homicide in 1987. The crime was investigated over the years under the leadership of four investigating directors.

The man, born in 1966, confessed to the crime in 1991 but later withdrew his confession. A police investigation was reopened in 2007, and the man who once confessed to the crime was sentenced to two years later from robbery to life imprisonment.

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More than 21 years elapsed between the homicide and the conviction.

Turku resident lawyer Ilpo Härmäläinen disappeared in August 1994, but only last year did the police manage to find out what happened on the day of the disappearance. When the trial began, Härmäläinen’s body was still missing.

According to the prosecutor, Lasse Lehto picked up Härmäläinen from his home and attracted the man to a sailboat he owned in the port of Satava, Turku.

According to the district court, this course of events was clarified in court.

According to the court, the motive for the murder was the fear of being caught in the indictment.

Lehto, Härmälä and the third man had a dark loan speculation going on in 1994. Lehto had entered into a so-called factoring invoicing agreement, which allows trade receivables to be converted into cash. However, trade receivables were not based on actual work.

The duo left by boat for Airisto. The journey continued for about a mile and a half to one of the deepest points in Airisto. There Lehto shot Härmälä twice with a revolver. The first shot hit Härmälä on the back. The second shot hit the head.

After the death, Lehto packed Härmäläinen’s body into four plastic bags and attached an anchor chain and an anchor to the package. The advertiser then immersed the body in Airisto.

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According to the verdict, Lehto’s sailboat was very likely the place of Härmäläinen’s murder and the sailboat was used to move to the place of disposal.

Lehto later sold the revolver to the arms trade, and police were able to acquire it during the preliminary investigation. However, it could not be conclusively linked to homicide.

According to the verdict, the revolver has been suitable for Härmäläinen’s murder weapon.

Litigation received a surprise in March when a naval diver found Härmäläinen’s body from Airisto.

The body, packed in plastic bags, was found at a depth of about 44 meters. The body had survived well in cold and oxygen-free water.

The defense regularly denied the charge. According to the defense, Lehto is innocent of homicide and hiding the body.

“I’m a completely wrong person. I am constantly being tried to blame me for this, ”the accused said at a further interrogation in February.

The news is being updated.

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Read more: Police: The deceased found at Airisto on Wednesday is a lawyer who disappeared in 1994

Read more: The body of a lawyer who disappeared more than 27 years ago was found in good condition on the seabed – The witness told the court what happened at a depth of 44 meters

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