An investigation into suspected malfeasance in office by officials at the Prime Minister’s office over PM Sanna Marin‘s (SDP) breakfast expenses has come to an end by the Police in Helsinki. Yle report on the preliminary probe absolved the officials at the Prime Minister’s office of having committed any crime in the “breakfastgate.”
Recall that the preliminary investigation was launched in May after police were asked to determine if there was any reason to suspect a crime had been committed over the Prime Minister’s breakfast and cold meal expenses, estimated to be 850 euros per month, being covered by the taxpayer.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, a total of more than 14,000 euros was spent on the Prime Minister’s meals at her official Kesäranta residence between January 2020 and May 2021, Yle reports. At the time when the matter was reported, the PM herself was not suspected of any crime, but the Police probe would look into the actions of officials.
The preliminary investigation by the Police found that the reimbursement of costs for breakfasts and cold meals at the Kesäranta residence was based on an established interpretation by officials at the Prime Minister’s Office of ministerial expense entitlements.
The report by Yle stated that the interpretation was based on a broad understanding of the terms of the law on ministerial expenses which had developed before Marin’s tenure.
Police therefore found that the interpretation by officials in relation to Marin’s breakfast expenses did not constitute an abuse of powers in the performance of official duties, a failure to perform official duties or a breach of official duty.
PM Marin, the world’s youngest female state leader and Finland’s youngest-ever prime minister said she will cover the breakfast and cold meal costs and welcomed the clarification of the law.