Campaign funding: Criminal charges against four key figures in KMS
Police suspect that real decision-makers in group not disclosed to register authorities
Four leaders of KMS, a business organisation that channelled contributions from business leaders to the election campaigns of candidates mainly of the Centre Party are to go to court to explain some of the activities of the group.
Police suspect that the organisation’s nominal leaders were there for show, and that the real decision-makers were not reported to the register of associations.
Among those facing charges are Pekka Lind, the chairman of KMS at the time, Tapani Yli-Saunamäki, the former CEO of the Nova Group, and Arto Merisalo, managing director of Nova Real Estate Development, as well as Lasse Kontiola, former head of communications of the Centre Party.
The alleged violations include making false entries into official registers, and violations of bookkeeping law. Details were not disclosed of which charges apply to which of the suspects.
The case is to come before Helsinki District Court sometime after mid-February. On Friday there will be an extensive handling of the Nova case, which is expected to take a good deal of time.
KMS was set up in December 2006 at the Centre Party’s party headquarters in the office of party secretary Jarmo Korhonen. The association gave lavish donations to the campaigns of candidates of their choosing in connection with the elections of 2007.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Vanhanen says he reported on Forsius KMS funding already two years ago (19.4.2010)
Vanhanen thanked Merisalo for assistance soon after 2007 election (14.4.2010)
Election funding causes rumblings in government (25.9.2009)
CEO of Nova Group claims Centre supports real estate company in zoning issue (30.5.2008)
Tapani Yli-Saunamäki: “Treasure chest” handed out money and paid campaign bills (20.5.2008)
Election financiers (20.5.2008)