police interview

How to? Read other's experiences. Find useful advice on shipping, immigration, residence permits, visas and more.
mshamber
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:42 am

police interview

Post by mshamber » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:13 pm

I want to vent a little. I just came from a police interview.

It was related to my not having valid travel document (passport) while in Finland when my passport was expired for 5 months. I made a not-guilty claim under the EU right to equal treatment since I am a family member of an EU citizen and having an expired passport is not a crime for a Finnish citizen.

It had been several months since the prosecutor told me it would be sent for police pre-investigation. I thought they had completed the pre-investigation since they already had copies of my old and new passports and I did not deny being in the country during that period.

I received a call from a Finnish police officer who said I had to appear this Saturday at Malmi. The officer's English was ok but we had some difficulty communicating and I requested that a translator be present for interview. He said his English was fine but I insisted that it was my right to request a translator. I also left a message for his supervising officer with my request for the translator. I had taken a look at the police page and it said that the officer has a duty to inform me that I can bring a witness to the interrogation though he did not. I decided not to bring one anyway which was probably a mistake.

I arrived at the interview and checked my phone, jacket and keys into a locker. I was not searched or screened by a metal detector.

There was the officer that had called me and another officer present. He gave me papers outlining my rights in English. One of those rights is to have a witness present. He said since I did not bring my own witness, the other officer in the room would be my witness.

He then started by saying "I am turning on my computer now" and I asked for him to go over the charges against me. I did not agree with his translation of the charges and repeated my demand for a translator which is my right. He said his English is good enough and said we must continue. I then told him my answer to every question would be, "I have the right to a translator to be present for my interrogation and it has been refused." Most Finns have passable English but when it comes to legal and technical terms, they do not understand.

He typed something into the computer and printed the papers out and asked to sign them. They were completely in Finnish. I said I wanted them translated. He then said, "Ok, you are refusing to sign the papers." I said no, that I would sign them but I also wanted to write I was refused a translator. He said I could only sign my name. We went back and forth for a few minutes and then he wrote I refused to sign on the papers since even though I had agreed to sign, "I wanted to write something else and it was not ok".

Anyway. Bring a witness with you if you are requested to come before the police. You have a right to a translator even if a police officer says his English is good enough.

The office and the "witness" officer gave their supervisors information but I doubt calling them will do any good. It is likely their policy to try to deny the translator to save money.

I am filing a criminal complaint on Monday for falsification of pre-trial evidence against the officer. This probably won't do anything either.



police interview

Sponsor:

Finland Forum Ad-O-Matic
 

mshamber
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:42 am

Re: police interview

Post by mshamber » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:52 pm

I did a little more reading about the law today and found the following:

Law on administrative enforcement established that a person involved in legal proceedings as an interpreter
or translator cannot have any involvement to parties in the case, or to the case itself,
as such a relationship is a cause in which the credibility of the interpreter can be called
into question. (Hallintolainkäyttölaki, 26.7.1996 / 586, 77§ - «Law on administrative
enforcement").


And also in the Aliens act:

Aliens Act (Ulkomaalaislaki 30.4.2004 / 301, 10§) states that
interpreters and translators cannot be used if a person has an involvement to the case
or to a party in the case, that the credibility of the interpreter can be put in doubt and
safety of the participants of the case may be jeopardized.


It is not legal for an officer to act as both investigating office and translator.

I then called the supervising officer to inform him of the issue and he seemed already aware.

Now the pre-investigation case will be reopened and I get to go for another round of questioning with the translator in place this time.

I wonder how many people before me have agreed to allow the investigating officer to be their translator? It seems absurd.

My end goal is to get the law changed so it is not illegal for EU citizens and their family members to be in Finland with an expired passport since it is not a crime for a Finn. I will do it through the courts or have the European commission do it for me.


Upphew
Posts: 10068
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:55 pm
Location: Lappeenranta

Re: police interview

Post by Upphew » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:28 pm

mshamber wrote:My end goal is to get the law changed so it is not illegal for EU citizens and their family members to be in Finland with an expired passport since it is not a crime for a Finn. I will do it through the courts or have the European commission do it for me.
"Schengen EU countries have the possibility of adopting national rules obliging you to hold or carry papers and documents when you are present on their territory."
http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/tr ... dex_en.htm

Good luck with your endeavour.
http://google.com http://translate.google.com http://urbandictionary.com
Visa is for visiting, Residence Permit for residing.


betelgeuse
Posts: 2735
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: police interview

Post by betelgeuse » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:43 pm

mshamber wrote:I did a little more reading about the law today and found the following:

Law on administrative enforcement established that a person involved in legal proceedings as an interpreter
or translator cannot have any involvement to parties in the case, or to the case itself,
as such a relationship is a cause in which the credibility of the interpreter can be called
into question. (Hallintolainkäyttölaki, 26.7.1996 / 586, 77§ - «Law on administrative
enforcement").


And also in the Aliens act:

Aliens Act (Ulkomaalaislaki 30.4.2004 / 301, 10§) states that
interpreters and translators cannot be used if a person has an involvement to the case
or to a party in the case, that the credibility of the interpreter can be put in doubt and
safety of the participants of the case may be jeopardized.


It is not legal for an officer to act as both investigating office and translator.
I thought I would not comment on this thread due to effort involved but I will chip in to provide you on the right track with your references. Neither the Law on administrative enforcement (your case is not administrative) or Aliens Act (it's not a situation referenced in the first subsection of section 10) applies to the interview. The relevant section is the following from the Criminal Investigation Act:
(4) Persons other than those speaking Finnish, Swedish or Sami have the right in the criminal investigation to use a language that they understand and speak sufficiently, and persons using sign language have the right to use this. The criminal investigation authority shall ascertain whether or not the party needs interpretation. The criminal authority shall ensure that the party receives the interpretation that he or she needs. A person who has the skills required for the task, is honest and is otherwise suitable for the task may serve as interpreter. The criminal investigation authority shall appoint a new interpreter if legal safeguards for the party require this. The criminal investigation authority may appoint a new interpreter for the task also for another weighty reason. (770/2013)
http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/kaannokset ... 110805.pdf

While it's commendable in some way that you are trying to go about things pro se, you would benefit from consulting a lawyer.


User avatar
Pursuivant
Posts: 15094
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:51 am
Location: Bath & Wells

Re: police interview

Post by Pursuivant » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:14 pm

Let me guess, you are from the UK?
The rest of Europe runs on Roman Law principles rather than your pigsinfieldistan "address proof is gas bill", so suck it up my china.

Meanwhile I do follow this not only due to the entertainment value & appreciate your updates.
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


User avatar
Pursuivant
Posts: 15094
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:51 am
Location: Bath & Wells

Re: police interview

Post by Pursuivant » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:18 pm

Seconding Betelgeuse, get yourself a lawyer, theres mostly illegal immigration specialists doing asylum seeker cases, so they will be f-all knowlegeable on EU law, so make sure you find one that knows the EU stuff as well.
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


mshamber
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:42 am

Re: police interview

Post by mshamber » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:11 pm

Thanks for the replies. I had not noticed them before as I only checked the day after I posted.

I ended up talking with the manager of the officer and they reopened the investigation and said they would provide the translator. I also filed an administrative complaint stating what had happened and that I thought it was not legal.

Now I have received a notice for a second police interview that is supposed to happen in around 2 weeks. This one is a problem. I have a scheduled flight to Lapland with non-refundable tickets for that weekend. I have no idea what happens if they refuse to reschedule and I go to Lapland anyway. I assume they would come get me when I got back. But would they come get me and detain me for a few hours or throw me in jail until they can arrange an English speaking translator?

Regarding the lawyer. My first option was to plead guilty and pay the day fines. My other option is go to court. Even if found guilty the worst that can happen is a few extra day fines and court costs. So instead of 350 euro it would be 2000 euro. Adding a lawyer would just another 1 or 2k euro. If they are going to find me guilty anyway then what is the point of the extra lawyer costs. Anyway, I am learning a lot.

The other question I have is about statute of limitations which is 2 years for this offense. I think I am approaching 2 years in March for the initial lapse. Let's say the lapse in passport lasted until August. Does it begin with the initial start of the crime or the end of the crime period?

Once I study the Schengen treaties Vs the EU founding articles I will post more.


User avatar
sinikala
Posts: 4993
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:10 pm
Location: Pori, Finland

Re: police interview

Post by sinikala » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:24 pm

Pursuivant wrote:Let me guess, you are from the UK?
The rest of Europe runs on Roman Law principles rather than your pigsinfieldistan "address proof is gas bill", so suck it up my china.

Meanwhile I do follow this not only due to the entertainment value & appreciate your updates.
The OP stated "since I am a family member of an EU citizen"...
if he held a UK passport, expired or otherwise, he would surely have said he's an EU citizen, and would likely remain so until Spring 2019.
I surmise the OP is a Colonial of some sort.

I'm quite careful about keeping my documents in order, so i can't imagine a circumstance where I'd let something as important as my passport expire.

I would be interested to know if the expired passport was the only form of ID the OP had?
No Finnish driver's license?
No oleskelulupa?
No kela card?
Would the police have gone after him if he held valid local documentation?
Infact, who is actually trying to prosecute the OP? is it the Police themselves? Maybe I missed that?

As for the Police not sticking to their law / their own rules, I've had little cause to interact with them, the last time was to exchange a UK driving licence for a Finnish one, it was hardly a positive experience.

When I wanted to know why they were asking me to jump through hoops not described for that process on the police website the person interviewing me pulled out a ring binder and showed a photocopied page dated, IIRC, 1989 (the year the www was invented. :roll:) and 6 years prior to Finland's entry into the EU.

Poor. Very poor indeed.
Image


mshamber
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:42 am

Re: police interview

Post by mshamber » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:20 pm

I wanted to post an update on the situation. I finally received a notice from the court to contact them in early June. I did call them and they wanted to schedule an appointment to give me some papers. Since letting my passport expire is a criminal offense they need to hand me the papers in person. They have until September to service me when the 2 year statute of limitations expires. I haven't heard from them again and I don't expect a visit in June and I will be out of the country in July. That just gives them August to hunt me down if they bother. At some point they are allowed to turn it over to the police to server the summons but they have to send a letter first.

To answer some previous questions:
>>Would the police have gone after him if he held valid local documentation?
Yes, I had valid drivers license.

>>Infact, who is actually trying to prosecute the OP? is it the Police themselves? Maybe I missed that?
Police are enforcing Finnish law. It is a section of the Aliens act that says it is illegal for a non-citizen to purposely be in the country without a valid travel document.

If they manage to get me to court I am going to argue that the law goes against a clause in the Finnish constitution that guarantees the right to equal treatment. Schengen EU countries have the possibility of adopting national rules obliging you to hold or carry papers and documents when you are present on their territory. Enforcing these on a foreigner within Finland violates the right to equal treatment in the Finnish constitution since it is not a crime for a Finnish person to let their travel document expire within Finland. I don't expect to win but I think they may make mistakes that could get the judgement overturned on appeal.

I do think that the Aliens act should not label EU citizens (and their family members) as Aliens. It violates the EU founding articles equal treatment clause by classifying an EU citizen as an alien and applying special laws to them that do not apply to Finnish persons.


betelgeuse
Posts: 2735
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: police interview

Post by betelgeuse » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:02 am

mshamber wrote:I do think that the Aliens act should not label EU citizens (and their family members) as Aliens.
The English translation is not a binding legal document. In any case you probably are not familiar that alien is a common legal term.

http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx? ... ien&type=1
mshamber wrote:It violates the EU founding articles equal treatment clause by classifying an EU citizen as an alien and applying special laws to them that do not apply to Finnish persons.
If your interpretation of EU law was correct, it would lead to very interesting results. For example, foreigners would have the right to vote in all Finnish elections. In reality EU treaties do not require equal rights and obligations which means it's ok to have legislation that deals with aliens.


User avatar
Beep_Boop
Posts: 2021
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Niflheim, Suomi

Re: police interview

Post by Beep_Boop » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:10 pm

betelgeuse wrote:In reality EU treaties do not require equal rights and obligations which means it's ok to have legislation that deals with aliens.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Thank you very much for bringing that point. This is one of the biggest misunderstandings about how the EU works, regarding immigration or pretty much anything else.
Every f*cking case is unique. You can't measure the result of your application based on arbitrary anecdotes online. Stop being a moron!


User avatar
Piet
Posts: 467
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:45 pm
Location: Finland

Re: police interview

Post by Piet » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:32 pm

It was related to my not having valid travel document (passport) while in Finland when my passport was expired for 5 months. I made a not-guilty claim under the EU right to equal treatment since I am a family member of an EU citizen and having an expired passport is not a crime for a Finnish citizen.
I think this is a wrong assumption, I know for a fact (because it costed me a fine too) that in the Netherlands you have to have a valid identification document (ID) with you at all times, if you cannot show this upon asking by the police, you will get a fine, this is true for all above 15yrs old. A drivers licence is not considered a valid ID.

It is my believe this is also true for Finland.

This law was misused by the police in the Netherlands to fine kids of 16 that were swimming at a place where it was forbidden to swim, all kids got a fine for swimming at that location plus a fine for not able to show their ID (that you have to have with you in the water while swimming at a place where it is not allowed to swim). Legally there was nothing wrong with the action of the police fining these kids and the parents had to pay up (legal guardians).

So I would like to advise the OP just to pay the fine and be done with it, there is no way you will win this case and being served has already been done by getting a settlement offer, you got the fine. No way you will be let off the hook, the fine will just become bigger and bigger.
If god would give us the source code, we could change the world
Image


betelgeuse
Posts: 2735
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: police interview

Post by betelgeuse » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:09 pm

Piet wrote: I think this is a wrong assumption, I know for a fact (because it costed me a fine too) that in the Netherlands you have to have a valid identification document (ID) with you at all times, if you cannot show this upon asking by the police, you will get a fine, this is true for all above 15yrs old. A drivers licence is not considered a valid ID.

It is my believe this is also true for Finland.
Don't believe (it's not).
Piet wrote: So I would like to advise the OP just to pay the fine and be done with it, there is no way you will win this case and being served has already been done by getting a settlement offer, you got the fine. No way you will be let off the hook, the fine will just become bigger and bigger.
I don't see anything with search on this thread about a settlement offer.


Oho
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:48 pm

Re: police interview

Post by Oho » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:58 pm

Piet wrote: A drivers licence is not considered a valid ID.
It is my believe this is also true for Finland.
I guess it depends. The problem with drivers license is that it does not state nationality nor legal basis of residence, hence it is not valid as a travel document, and may also be rejected by a bank which may require proof of legal residence in Finland.


User avatar
Piet
Posts: 467
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:45 pm
Location: Finland

Re: police interview

Post by Piet » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:33 pm

betelgeuse wrote:
Don't believe (it's not).

I don't see anything with search on this thread about a settlement offer.
Thank you for clearing up that it is not the same.

I guess you do not call the fine you get, a settlement offer here in Finland either..

This country's legal system keeps amazing me, I guess that is the result of no experience with Napoleon and a legal system developed partly based on law inherited from previous oppressors (Russia and Sweden). I am so happy I do not have any legal issues here :mrgreen:

Oho wrote:
Piet wrote: A drivers licence is not considered a valid ID.
It is my believe this is also true for Finland.
I guess it depends. The problem with drivers license is that it does not state nationality nor legal basis of residence, hence it is not valid as a travel document, and may also be rejected by a bank which may require proof of legal residence in Finland.
How can a passport proof legal residence in Finland? does it get a stamp when it is not an EU passport? (I wouldn't know I have NL DE BE and CA and did not use the last one for my residency here duh..)
If god would give us the source code, we could change the world
Image


Post Reply