Finn gets 12-year sentence for brutal 2005 murder in Tallinn
Finnish businessman Markus Pasi Pönkä, 23, was sentenced in Tallinn's District Court on Monday to 12 years' imprisonment for the murder of his 22-year-old associate. The case from December 2005 attracted much attention at the time for its grisly nature: the victim's body was cut up and wrapped in plastic sacks after the killing.
The convicted man announced immediately that he would be appealing the sentence.
After the sentence is formally put into effect, Pönkä will be transported to prison in Finland, where he may be facing new charges.
He is suspected of having acquired money via a fake invoicing scam (see attached article) that involved membership in a charitable organisation.
According to the charge presented in Estonia, Pönkä shot his colleague in order to keep all the money unlawfully gained from the Finnish scam, and in order to remove one significant and potentially damaging witness to the fraud.
The convicted man has denied that the murder was premeditated. He has claimed the killing was in self-defence and the cutting up of the body was an act carried out while in shock.
While he was held in custody he repeatedly and unsuccessfully sought bail against guarantees, and complained of police violence at the time of his arrest, shortly before the victim's body was discovered.
The reason for the curious timing of events was that Pönkä was picked up by Estonian officials initially on the basis of a request from Finnish police in connection with the fraud investigations.
At the time of his arrest, he was armed and tried to escape in his car.
The killing then came to light a day or two later, when the victim's landlord found the dismembered body in an apartment in the centre of Tallinn.
Pönkä was already in a holding cell by this time, and the bloodstained apartment, with the body partially cut up for disposal, had not been cleaned up because of his arrest.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Finnish man held on suspicion of grisly killing in Tallinn (21.12.2005)