Jail time reduced - preparation of robbery is no crime
Appeals Court overturns conviction for attempted robbery of money transport
The Turku Court of Appeals on Monday overturned a conviction for the aggravated attempt to rob a cash transport vehicle.
In the view of the court, those convicted had not attempted to commit a crime; they had merely made preparations for a crime, which is not a crime in itself.
In October 2007 in a massive operation at the parking area of the Lieto Cemetery in the southwest of Finland, police stopped a group of men who were planning such a robbery.
According to the Court of Appeals, the decision hinged on the fact that the perpetrators had not driven away from the car park with the intention of committing the robbery.
The court found that the group most likely drove away to flee the approaching police cars, which means that the preparation of the robbery did not actually turn into an attempt.
However, they were convicted of possession of illegal weapons and explosives.
Some of the same perpetrators were also involved in the February 2007 robbery of a cash transport vehicle in front of the Turku branch of the Bank of Finland. In its Monday decision, the sentences in the Bank of Finland cash robbery were unchanged.
The overturning of the conviction in the Lieto incident shortened the sentences of nearly all of those convicted, who are citizens of Sweden, Finland, and Estonia.
The nine-and-a-half year sentences handed down to Anthony Batalla and Matti-Mikael Saren were reduced to just over eight years. The seven-year sentence of Anders Adali was kept unchanged.
The punishments of eight others varied from five months’ suspended sentences to five years non-suspended. The Court of Appeals left two men without punishment.
“Personally I feel that it would be right if the preparation of a serious crime were criminalised”, said Court of Appeals Judge Allan Ahnger to Helsingin Sanomat on Monday.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Cash truck robbers trained for heist under police surveillance (6.11.2007
Two Swedish gang members still at large after attempted robbery of cash truck near Turku on Wednesday (2.11.2007)
Armed gang hits cash consignment; border surveillance tightened (20.2.2007)
Man suspected of attempted armed robbery in Finland found in Pattaya hotel (28.11.2009)
Senior detective inspector suspected of abuse of authority in connection with attempted Lieto robbery (13.11.2007)