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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Finnish Prostitution Trial Ends

HELSINKI — A Russian woman was sentenced to prison on Thursday for running a prostitution racket at apartments owned by the Russian Embassy's trade division in the Finnish capital.

The Helsinki District Court found Tatyana Viitanen, 42, guilty of acting as a pimp by leasing the apartments to mostly Russian prostitutes in 2003 and 2004. She was given a sentence of two years and three months and ordered to pay more than 172,000 euros ($206,000) in damages.

Viitanen's lawyer, Aarno Negru-Vode, said she would appeal. "Tatyana cannot accept an unconditional prison sentence under any circumstances," Negru-Vode said.

The apartments were allegedly supplied to Viitanen by two Russian officials who had diplomatic immunity and have since returned to Moscow, thus hampering a police investigation.

Dozens of prostitutes used the apartments before local officers broke up the prostitution ring in October 2004, Helsinki police said in January.

Russian diplomats have declined to comment on the case.