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Two executives leave Patria in wake of consultant's death

Two high-ranking executives at the Finnish arms firm Patria have resigned in the wake of the death of an external consultant visiting Uganda to promote company products.

Patria logo.
Image: Jarno Mela / Lehtikuva

The majority state-owned Finnish defence contractor Patria announced on Friday that Mika Kari, President of its Land Business Unit, was leaving the company effective immediately and assuming responsibility for what it termed "the recent mistake" in Patria’s international marketing practices.

In addition, Juha Simola, Senior Vice President of Patria’s Land Business Unit Marketing and Sales also turned in his resignation.

Patria said corrective measures had been started in order to further clarify its international marketing procedures as well as to arrange enhanced internal training.

Exceeded authority

Police in Uganda are investigating the death of a 40-year-old Finnish businessman found in his hotel room in Kampala early this month. The man was reportedly in the country to sell weapons on behalf of Patria.

According to Patria, the company's marketing VP exceeded his authority when commissioning the independent consultant to engage in the marketing of the company's products.

Local police initially attributed the man's death to natural causes but said they had not ruled out foul play. Finnish and Ugandan police have now begun an exchange of information in the investigation.

Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä said on Wednesday that he had asked the arms firm for a report on the case.

The New Vision newspaper in Kampala reported this past week that one of its journalists, Charles Etukuri, was abducted after writing an article suggesting that Ugandan security services were involved in the Finn’s death. In a Twitter posting published Saturday afternoon, New Vision said that security operatives abducted Etukuri.

Updated 17.02.20018 at 5:31 PM to include details from the New Vision Twitter account

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