The Philadelphia Flyers forward Jori Lehtera is not coming to the trial on Tuesday, when the court was planning to handel his part in a major cocaine trial.
Legally Lehtera is not obliged to arrive, since the court has not been able to deliver the subpoeona. The court was still expecting him to arrive volunteraly.
Lehtera's lawyer Ari Nieminen says Lehtera is willing to arrive at court and "clear things up", but at this point it is difficult due to his NHL schedule.
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Minor part in a major cocaine ring
The trial against Lehtera started on New Years Day in the district court of Pirkanmaa in Tampere, Finland. The prosecutors are seeking a five-month suspended sentence for Lehtera, who is charged with a narcotics offence.
Lehtera is not required to appear in court at this time. The charge against him was announced on Monday, but the court will handle his case later.
According to a preliminary investigation, Lehtera obtained eight grams of cocaine between early June and late July of 2018 in Tampere. According to the prosecutors he also tried to obtain one gram of cocaine in May of 2018.
Police investigators used wiretapping while secretly surveilling three male suspects in a large cocaine ring in the summer of 2018. During the investigation the cell phones of two suspects were in contact with Lehtera’s cell phone. Later the suspects’ cell phones were pinpointed near the area of Lehtera’s cottage by Lake Näsijärvi.
Lehtera is not accused of having a role in importing the cocaine to Finland or selling it. He is being charged with obtaining and possessing the cocaine.
The minimum sentence for a narcotics offence is a fine and the maximum is two years imprisonment. A person committing a narcotics offence such as this for the first time usually faces a fine or in some cases a short suspended sentence.
The cocaine ring as a whole is one of the largest ever investigated in the Tampere region. It involved more than 1,8 kilos of cocaine, and 22 suspects faced charges on Monday.
The three main suspects in the ring are charged with an aggravated narcotics offence. Prosecutors are seeking eight to ten-year sentences for them.
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Updated in January 7 at 11:53 with information about Lehtera's plans to attend the trial.