Thursday, June 30, 2005

House of Friendship

RFE/RL reports that
A court in Finland has sentenced a Russian woman to prison for running a prostitution ring out of apartments owned by the Russian Embassy's trade delegation.

Tatiana Viitanen was found guilty of acting as a pimp by leasing the apartments to prostitutes over a two-year period.

She was sentenced to two years and three months and ordered to pay some $200,000 in damages.

The apartments were allegedly supplied to Viitanen by two Russian officials. But the two did not face trial as they are protected by diplomatic immunity and have since returned to Moscow.

The Russian Embassy website said that some apartments had been "used for criminal activities...which it regrets," but denied any embassy involvement in a prostitution racket.

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