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Posted: 9/26/2004 12:47:57 AM EDT
Raahe District Court has ordered the confiscation of all copies of a book published six years ago, saying that the content of the book is libellous. The court found that the book, published at the expense of the author, defames two Finnish tax workers.

The author, Liisa Mariapori of Rovaniemi, has sharply criticised the actions of Finnish tax authorities. Mariapori was also given a four-month suspended sentence for libel.

Details of the trial are sketchy, because the process was held behind closed doors. The court also ordered the records of the trial to be sealed for 15 years.

The court’s decision came already in July, but Mariapori herself has appealed the ruling to the Vaasa Court of Appeals on the grounds of freedom of expression.

Liisa Mariapori, a former official of the provincial tax office of Finnish Lapland, became an outspoken critic of the taxation system in the late 1990s.

She alleged that Finnish tax officials would deliberately force viable companies into bankruptcy on the basis of falsified inspection reports.

After losing her job at the tax office in 1998 she published her book in which she repeated the same allegations.

The plaintiffs, a man and a woman, work for the tax authorities. In her book Mariapori claims that one of the two had "quite consciously and deliberately" committed perjury at a trial involving economic crime.

The book contains similar allegations of other individuals, but they were not plaintiffs in the trial.

Liisa Mariapori was also ordered to pay significant damages for mental suffering to the two plaintiffs.

The tax inspector accused by Mariapori of lying in court was awarded EUR 7,000 plus six years of interest. The other plaintiff was awarded EUR 2,000 plus interest.

The case is a very unusual one in Finnish legal history. The last time that the copies of a book were ordered confiscated in Finland was in 1962 when a Finnish translation of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer was ruled to be "in violation of public morals".



Closed trials, sealed record -- Is freedom of speech is alive and well in Finland?

Or are tax collectors a protected class?
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 12:53:45 AM EDT
Has the U.S. ever banned books that were other than pornographic?
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:07:30 AM EDT
I have heard of school districts banning books, but as far as I know the government has not banned any books since James Joyce's Ulysses, back in the early 20th century. Today, my understanding is that it is only the school districts that ban books. And that's not really a ban as the books are still available for purchase elsewhere.

But, I have never heard of the US banning books critical of the government.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:12:14 AM EDT
That's what I believed. If you can still purchase Mein Kamph and Improvised Munitions, then I'd guess we're still in the land of the free.

I'm glad I live here and not Finland.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:23:15 AM EDT
There is no First Amendment in Europe.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:37:28 AM EDT
If it were up to some there would be NO 1st here or 2nd . The truth has got alot of people in trouble before .
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