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Commander of Finnish Defence Forces won't seek another term

Lieutenant General Jarmo Lindberg has announced that he will not continue in his Chief of Defence role once his five-year term ends next summer.

Puolustusministeri Jussi Niinistö ja puolustusvoimain komentaja kenraali Jarmo Lindberg (oik.) 228. valtakunnallisen maanpuolustuskurssin avajaisissa Helsingin Säätytalolla maanantaina 21. tammikuuta.
Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö and Defence Chief Jarmo Lindberg attend a National Defence Course on 21 January. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

Finland's Defence Chief, Jarmo Lindberg, will not continue in his role as Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces after his current five-year term ends in August 2019. Lindberg announced his decision at the opening of a National Defence Course on Monday in Helsinki.

Last week, the office of the Prosecutor General asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to open a preliminary study of Lindberg's role in the so-called Lemmenjoki incident, which made headlines recently.

The Defence Forces Command recently submitted a report to the Defence Ministry on the case, in which two commanding officers were charged for incidents that took place during a voluntary refresher course at the Karelian Air Command in September 2017.

Air Force Commander Sampo Eskelinen is suspected of breach of duty for delaying an investigation into the inappropriate conduct of the former commander of the Karelian Air Command, Markus Päiviö, during the refresher course. Päiviö is suspected of misuse of power, breach of service and defamation.

One of the 12 defendants in the case, Nurmes mayor Asko Saatsi, has gone on record to say alcohol was involved.

Both of the officers have denied the charges.

A Lännen Media news syndicate source reported earlier this month that Lindberg also knew about the behaviour months before the preliminary investigation was commissioned.

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