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April 30, 2012

Russians arrested environmental expert Knuuttila in Russia

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Finland
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Russians arrested Finnish environmental expert Seppo Knuuttila in Russia on Wednesday 11. April. He was detained on an official data-collection trip to north-west Russia. Seppo Knuuttila is works for the for the assessment of pollution load into the Baltic Sea at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). In autumn 2011 Knuuttila detected a leak of phosphorus in the Luga river in the volume of 1,000 tonnes annually more than the total annual phosphorus leak in the Baltic Sea from Finland. Seppo Knuuttila was kept without food over one day, interrogated by Russian Federal Security Service and put in jail in an unknown place. He was examinating Luga River phosphorus levels, as agreed. A group of two Finnish and two Russian colleagues took the water samples to measure phosphate levels.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Finland) has filed after Knuuttila arrival in Finland a formal request with Russian authorities for information about the detention of a Finnish environmental researcher. President Sauli Niinistö called for a speedy resolution of the matter. Negotiations are ongoing. Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) received letter from corresponding Russian organization on April, 24. Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Finland) have not received explanations from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Russia) as of April, 30.

Kingisepp is near Estonian boarder

Contents

Knuuttila and Massive phosphorus leak

Seppo Knuuttila is a limnologist at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). He works for the for the assessment of pollution load into the Baltic Sea and monitoring of the state of the Gulf of Finland.

According to preliminary Finnish research in autumn 2011 there was a leak of phosfphorus in the Luga river and end up in the Gulf of Finland each year in the volume of 1,000 tonnes annually. According to Helsinki Commission project director Kaj Forsius this emission is more than the total annual phosphorus leak in the Baltic Sea from Finland. The data was published in January 2012. Seppo Knuuttila detected the high levels. Finnish environment officials suspect that runoff from the Fosforit fertiliser plant in Kingisepp part of the concern Eurochem. The gypsum waste piles of the factory may be the source. Russian company have denied the detected levels. Knuuttila considered Fosforit plant as one of the largest single contributors to Baltic Sea eutrophication. Spring is best tome for sampling.

Agreement of closer studies

The agreement of closer studies was made in March 2012 between Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission HELCOM, Russian authorities, fertilizer plant Fosforit in Kingisepp and EuroChem -concern. Funds were from the factory and HELCOM. It was the intension to study the source of phosphorus.

Arrest

In yhe mid April the new sample journay took place. However, the guard of the phosphorus factory EuroChem arrested Knuuttila and prevented him from taking all the water samples as he had inteded to do. Seppo Knuuttila was interrogated for 8 hours in Kingisepp. After releasing he was arrested again in the Russian-Finland boarder and interrogated again for 6 hours. He was obliged to give his computer to the Russian officiers. They took the samples with two Russians. All aimed water samples were not taken. The Russians have the computer.

According to Helsingin Sanomat Knuuttila was several hours in questioning by the Federal Security Service (Russia) the FSB, as well as Russian police and immigration officials. He spent the night in the jail. FSB examined his computer during the night.

Russians

Russians denied in Friday all responsibility of the case. EuroChem accuse Knuuttila for visiting close to factory areas not agreed (5 km). EuroChem gave Knuuttila to Russian immigration officers since he did not carry his passport with him. According to EuroChem the computer included too many photos from the factory surrounding area. According to EuroChem the company is among tightly controlled strategic companies in the Russia. Company claims that the Finnish expert was unsatisfied that the latest studies do not prove the Finnish samples correct. It is not clear which samples, by whom and when the comapny is referring to. Now it was intention to take new samples and it seems that EuroChem prevented at least a part of them.

Environmental issues in Russia

In the Helsingin Sanomat (HS) on April 14 it was pointed out that environmental activists and journalist may face violence in Russia when expressing their concern of the environment. HS mentioned journalists Mikhail Beketov and Oleg Kashin in connection to report the highway plan through the Khimki forest near Moscow and Alexander Senotrusov of the environmental group GreenWorld in Russia.

Syke

The chief director of Finnish Environment Institute SYKE Lea Kauppi consider that the arrest was based on the revealed high phosphorus contents in the area. This received a lot of media attention both in Russia and Finland. Syke will contact the Russians and want the computer back.

Discussion

Commentor include Lea Kauppi, director-general at SYKE, Minister of the Environment Ville Niinistö (Green), President Sauli Niinistö, Hannele Pokka, a former Minister of Justice who is now the Environment Ministry’s Permanent Secretary.

See also

  • Critics of Danish Security and Intelligence Service

Sources

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

April 25, 2012

Critics of Danish Security and Intelligence Service

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finland
Other stories from Finland
  • 5 December 2011: Finnish trio shot dead in Brazil
  • 10 August 2011: Finnish police to receive guidance on Internet ‘hate speech’
  • 9 August 2011: Former Prime Minister of Finland Harri Holkeri dies aged 74
  • 8 July 2011: Finnish Olympic champion skier Mika Myllylä found dead
  • 15 May 2011: Azerbaijan win 2011 Eurovision Song Contest
…More articles here
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Danish Security and Intelligence Service (DNIS – PET) detained the Finnish professor charging of meeting four spies (espionage agents). Professor Timo Kivimäki is a peace and conflict negotiator meeting international parties from several countries. Professor Timo Kivimäki was arrested on Thursday 12.4.2012. He was charged on 28 March. He is professor of international politics at the University of Copenhagen. According to Danish Weekendavisen 49 year old professor is accused of mild espionage and assisting Russian spies in Denmark. Professor denies. Kivimäki admitted contact with Russian diplomates in realtion to conflicts in Irak and Afghanistan and discussions of Arktis. He denies knowing diplomates being spies as claimed by DNIS (PET). The charges are related to Kivimäki’s attempts to resolve disputes of Arctic Ocean. He is claimed assisting spies in Denmark. This is first time anyone is in court based on the Danish Criminal Law § 108.

The trial is in secret and the reason for the trial is secret. Ms. Kivimäki has given statement believing his trial was based on the Danish DNIS (PET) willingness to access his non public and secret papers. The way the trial is conducted confirms that Danish police may use the trial for that purposes. In public is informed that Kivimäki would have given list of students for Russians for the planned international negotiation for the Arctic area protection. In Finland the list of students of all academic courses are always on the blackboards easily available for anyone interested.

Contents

Arctic

According to Dean Ms. Liisa Laakso of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki the charges are related to Kivimäki’s attempts and reports on how to resolve disputes of arctic area waters. Connected to this Kivimäki had discussions with the Russian diplomats that are now accused to be spies.

Methane hydrates under the frozen sea in the Arctic area can cause a massive methane releases. How big, is under investigation. One Russian American study directed by Igor Semiletov will be published in April 2012. Massive methane emissions have caused mass extinctions 55 and 251 million years ago. Atmosphere methane content is now estimated as 5 billion tones and annual methane emissions as 600 million tons. IPCC estimated the methane share as 1/3 of the climate change gases in 2007. The carbon storage under the East Siberian area is estimated as 1,400 billion tons in total in different carbon forms. The more the Arctic sea ice will smelt, the higher is the risk for the methane emissions in the atmosphere. At worst it could cause a fast warming, a climate jump. North ice cover was 17,000 km2 in 1979 and 4,000 km2 in 2011. In the end of March 2012 member nations of the Arctic CouncilCanada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US – met to try to set some minimum rules to protect the region against pollution. The Arctic is probably the most environmentally sensitive region on the planet. Few treaties exist to protect it.

Methane is detected near surface of Arctic ocean. Gas has no carbon monoxide – so it does not come from man-made combustion. A report in Nature Geoscience suggests that also huge ‘surges’ of methane are released by melting permafrost.

Kivimäki

Timo Kivimäki has worked in Copenhagen since 1999. Kivimäki is suspended as professor during the legal process. Kivimäki is suspended since January/February 2011. Kivimäki was professor at the University of Helsinki during 1996-1999 and has student supervision tasks ongoing. The claimed analyses concern Irak, Iran and Arktis. According to media he has made security analyses and reports for many diplomates and governments including the Russians.

He has worked in the peace negotiations for over 20 years including Aceh, West Kalimantan, Papua and Burma/Myanmar. In his work he has met hundreds of diplomats and decision makers. At the time of the arrest DNIS did not know all the names of their suspected diplomates or how they look.

Secret data to DNIS

According to Professor DNIS asked in 2005 from him secret and confidential information from Aceh war discussions. Professor refused to give information. He considered it spying. He also pointed out that Denmark is a NATO country unlike Finland. However, according to Professor now based on these new claims DNIS has had opportunity to read all these secret papers and all other his notes and discussions. His telephone discussions to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Finland) have been translated. Danish Intelligence has acquired his confidential contacts in the peace and democracy development projects funded by Finland and the European Union. This is in conflict with the interest of Finland.

Interrogation

According to the professor he was interrogated in total for 350 – 400 hours since September 2010. His normal life was not possible. The Danish Security and Intelligence Service used the sleep debt method in the interrogation and prevented professor to have his asthma medicine 11 p.m. in the evening. The suspicion cut contacts to colleagues for 19 months and may disturb his imago. The interrogations were not recorded. DNIS does not report its activity. There is no way to control the activity of DSIS. Also the trial is announced to be secret.

Discussion

SUPO Finnish Security Intelligence Service

University is suprised.

Finnish Security Intelligence Service SUPO did not know for a long tome of the case. SUPO does not comment the case. According to yle news the claimed suspect is slight spying for the Russia. Professor denies

Denmark

Ministry of Justice (Denmark), which will conduct the trial, try to convince the Foreign Ministry Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), to keep trial public.

See also

  • Russians arrested environmental expert Knuuttila in Russia

Sources

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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