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Christian MP facing further legal battle despite 'not guilty' verdict over sharing of Bible verse

by Marcus Jones

Despite being exonerated twice, Finnish MP Päivi Räsänen could face further questioning over the sharing of a Bible verse in which she was accused of a hate crime.

The Christian politician was targeted by the state after posting an image of Bible verses from the New Testament book of Romans on Twitter along with comments on a radio show and in a church pamphlet.

The verses which describe homosexual activity as sinful were deemed to amount to hate speech.

In November last year, the Helsinki Court of Appeals dismissed all charges against her after a previous 'not guilty' verdict was questioned.

Now prosecutors have indicated they'll take the case to the Supreme Court.

Speaking in response, Räsänen said: “After my full exoneration in two courts, I’m not afraid of a hearing before the Supreme Court.

“Even though I am fully aware that every trial carries risks, an acquittal from the Supreme Court would set an even stronger positive precedent for everyone’s right to free speech and religion.

And if the court decided to overturn the lower courts’ acquittals, I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion as far as the European Court of Human rights, if necessary.”

Räsänen has served as a Finnish member of Parliament since 1995. From 2004-2015 she was chair of the Christian Democrats, and from 2011-2015 she was Finland’s minister of the interior.

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