MP Ilkka Kanerva (National Coalition Party) offered the National Coalition Party Parliamentary group a detailed account of events leading up to the bribery conviction he received last week. He told the MPs that he considers himself innocent, and he gave a very detailed description of the events to the parliamentary group.
”I told my view on everything that I know happened and described what I know did not happen”, Kanerva said after the group meeting.
Helsinki District Court convicted Ilkka Kanerva last week of aggravated bribe-taking and dereliction of duty. He was given a suspended prison sentence of a year and three months.
Kanerva is currently preparing an appeal against his conviction.
The National Coalition Party’s MPs did not make any changes to his duties as a Member of Parliament, and Kanerva is to continue his work in the Parliamentary group and his tasks as an MP as normal.
”No one questioned Kanerva’s position”, said Jan Vapaavuori, chairman of the National Coalition Party Parliamentary group.
Kanerva is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. In addition, he is in charge of a parliamentary monitoring group to support the preparation of the next government report to Parliament on Finnish Security and Defence Policy.
Vapaavuori stressed that Kanerva’s conviction is not legally valid before the appeals process is complete.
On Monday Kanerva announced that because of the conviction he would resign from his position as chairman of the board of the Regional Council of Southwest Finland.
Kanerva’s sentencing was part of an extensive case of bribery and election funding linked with the bankruptcy of the Nova Group.
The bribery charges involved Kanerva’s activities as chairman of the Regional Council of Southwest Finland between 2006 and 2008.