A Finnish court has sentenced the founder of a pro-Russian website to 22 months in prison on charges of defamation and negligence.
The court said MV-Lehti published offensive content about Jessikka Aro, an investigative journalist.
Ilja Janitskin and two other journalists were ordered to pay 136,000 euros (£119,300) in compensation.
Aro had been the subject of a hate campaign following her reporting on online Russian propaganda.
MV-Lehti is a well-known right-wing, anti-immigrant, Eurosceptic, pro-Russian publication.
What was the case about?
Jessikka Aro is a reporter for the Finnish national broadcaster YLE. In 2014, she began investigating the existence of pro-Russian troll factories. MV-Lehti published disparaging stories about her, including an article accusing her of being a drug addict.
Aro received death threats, was mocked on YouTube, was the subject of insulting memes and personal information including her address, medical records, contact details and whereabouts was published online.
We shot this 2-minute video at the Russian troll factory early 2015 with @Mikareport . The employees were effectively silenced, but this one did reveal quite a lot - about the level of secrecy of the factory. Turn on English subs: https://t.co/SB2M1UL4Po— Jessikka Aro (@JessikkaAro) February 20, 2018
Following a holiday in Thailand, she returned to Finland to discover that pictures of her dancing at a club were posted on the internet, alongside offensive comments.
"I was hoping maybe this will end, but it just got worse and worse and worse," Aro told Deutsche Welle. "Even my own friends started liking and commenting these filth pieces about me".
The HBL website reports (in Swedish) that Johan Bäckman, a researcher for MV-Lehti, repeatedly threatened Aro. Bäckman was also given a one-year suspended sentence for gross negligence.
The court ruled that disseminating negative information about Aro contributed to the trolling, according to Finnish broadcaster YLE (in Finnish).
What was Aro reporting on?
In 2014, Aro noticed a pattern of fake profiles spreading propaganda on social networks - Facebook, Vkontakte, Twitter and wanted to explore the impact these were having on Finnish users.
She began to uncover evidence of a state-sanctioned propaganda machine pushing a pro-Kremlin agenda through Twitter bots - automated accounts - and bot networks.
The Russian government has repeatedly denied using bot networks or online tools to interfere with Western countries.
Today is an important day!— Jessikka Aro (@JessikkaAro) October 18, 2018
Helsinki District Court gives its verdict on suspected aggravated slander, stalking, assistance in aggr. slander and inciting aggr. slander, which I was targeted to after I started to investigate the Kremlin trolls' influence on Finnish people in 2014.
Aro won the Finnish Grand Prize for Journalism in March 2016 for her work.
Ilja Janitskin denies any links to Russia, while Johan Bäckman regularly appears on Russian media and is a well-known supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the New York Times.