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Men acquitted of human trafficking to sue state over wrongful detainment

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Two brothers of Indian origin are considering bringing a formal claim against the State of Finland in a district court in order to obtain compensation for their suffering after they had been accused of aggravated human trafficking and wrongfully detained for a number of weeks.
      One of the brothers spent 106 days behind bars, while the other was detained for 84 days.
The Vantaa District Court found the two brothers not guilty and they were acquitted on the charges of human trafficking last July.
      No evidence could be found in court to back the suspicions expressed by the Border Guard and the prosecution that the brothers had misled and threatened an Indian man to come to Finland in order to work unpaid at a market stall and at a restaurant from 2005 to 2007.
      The acquittal is already legally valid, as nobody has appealed against the decision to the court of appeal.
      Both men filed a claim for compensation on account of wrongful detainment. The brother who had been in jail longer claimed EUR 43,200, while the other sought EUR 25,200 in damages.
The State Treasury estimated the brothers’ loss of liberty as being worth considerably less. The man who had been in custody for 106 days is to receive EUR 8,080, while the man who had been detained for 84 days is to get EUR 12,600 from the state for wrongful imprisonment.
      The former will thus get EUR 75 per one day in prison, while the latter is to get EUR 150 per day. On average the compensation paid by the state for wrongful detainment is EUR 100 per day.
      Reportedly, the compensation for wrongful arrest of the brother who had been in jail longer was reduced, as during the same court hearing he had been found guilty of arranging illegal entry and got a suspended prison sentence of 60 days.
      He had sent an invitation for a tourist visa to Finland to an Indian man, even though he knew that the recipient of his invitation was planning to stay in Finland.
”We intend to sue the State, as the compensations granted are quite minimal”, reports Risto Lehtonen, the legal advisor of the two brothers.
      In their lawsuit the brothers intend to point out that they both are men with a family, one of them having two small children and the other having one school age child.
      ”The whole case was a sum of misunderstandings”, noted Lehtonen.

Helsingin Sanomat

  8.4.2008 - TODAY
 Men acquitted of human trafficking to sue state over wrongful detainment

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