Legal proceedings Onion channel operator’s sentence for aiding and abetting drug offenses intensified in Helsinki Court of Appeal

Kim Holviala was sentenced to four years in prison. According to the Court of Appeal, as a donor, he was responsible for the drug trade on the site.

Onion channel site the administrator’s conviction for assistance in serious drug offenses and drug offenses has been hardened in the Helsinki Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal ordered the 47-year-old Kim Hjalmar Holvialan four years in prison.

Convicted by the District Court of Eastern Uusimaa in February 2019 Holviala for three years and four months in prison.

The judgment of the Court of Appeal outlines the responsibility of the site administrator for using the site for criminal activities. The vault industry was not even alleged to have been involved in the drug trade itself.

The vault sector has also become known for its political activities. In the spring of 2019, he ran for Parliament as a candidate for the Pirate Party.

Vault founded the Finnish-language Sipulikanava website in March 2014 and has since been responsible for its maintenance. He admitted in court that he knew there had been reports of drug sellers and buyers on the site.

Drug stores were not agreed on the site, but the seller and buyer usually did so using the Wickr app or email.

According to the authorities, the site became one of the largest Finnish drug trafficking sites on the Tor network over the years. It was closed by the authorities during a preliminary investigation in 2017.

Such the criminal liability of the site administrator is a matter for which there is no previous case law.

The decision of the Court of Appeal can be appealed to the Supreme Court. The application must be made within two months.

Both Holviala and the prosecutor had appealed the district court’s verdict. The vault demanded that the charges be dismissed, while the prosecutor was punished more severely. The prosecutor demanded that Holviala be punished primarily for a felony drug offense and only secondarily for assistance.

The vault did not set up a site for drug trafficking. At some point, however, one section of the site began to focus on drug trafficking, and Holviala also knew about it. He maintained the Onion Channel almost daily.

The vault industry took the wishes of the users into account when developing the site. For example, in March 2017, he was asked to set up drug-specific sub-boards.

The vault area refused. He considered the regional breakdown to be more sensible, as there was a “F2F” or “face to face” trade in the / market / area, where the seller and the buyer met each other physically.

Court of Appeal in the opinion of Holviala’s activities did not meet the characteristics of a serious drug crime. A mere passive or permissive attitude on the site to the occurrence of drug trafficking cannot be a gross drug offense.

Instead, it was about aid. According to the Court of Appeal, Holviala should have realized that at least some of the reports were quite likely to lead to drug trafficking.

“While maintaining the Onion Channel and taking measures to improve its usability, he must also have understood that he is promoting drug offenses through the Onion Channel. On those grounds, Holviala must be regarded as having deliberately contributed, through that procedure, to drug offenses committed through bulletin boards. ‘

The vault sector is responsible for the drug deals that were made on the basis of announcements published in the Onion Channel, the Court of Appeal stated. Instead, he is not responsible if trading resumed without further notice.

The Court of Appeal went through the drug cases, which were suspected to have originated from the Sipulikanava report.

The end result was that Holviala was convicted of aiding eighteen serious drug offenses and twelve drug offenses.

There were thus slightly more aids than in the district court judgment, so this explains the increase in punishment.

Punishment in measuring, the Court of Appeal noted that Holviala maintained the Onion Channel for a long time. Due to the site, drug trafficking in Finland at least became easier, if not increased.

The vault of the vault was also heightened by the fact that he was indifferent and permissive to the rampant drug trade on the site.

“On the other hand, according to the study presented, the motivation basis for Holviala’s operations has not been to obtain economic benefits for itself, but above all ideological reasons. This fact can be seen as lowering Holviala’s guilt compared to if she had acted in the way she was accused of in order to gain an economic advantage. ”

Asian the complexity is illustrated by the fact that the district court that sentenced him to imprisonment did not order Holviala to be imprisoned immediately, although this is usually done in such judgments.

“In this case, it is a question of interpretation whether Holviala’s activities as the operator of the Onion Channel can be complicit in drug offenses committed by others. It is only with the final validity of the judgment that it will be definitively determined whether there is any criminal proceedings against him. Imprisonment could become unreasonable if, after an appeal, it is established that it is not a crime for Holviala, ”the district court stated in the judgment.

Now the situation changed. The Court of Appeal ordered Holviala to be imprisoned immediately.

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