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Fake video? New twist in case of Finnish businessman's death in Uganda

Ugandan security officials have cast doubt on the findings by Kampala police, saying the hotel's security camera footage had been tampered with, according to Ugandan news outlet Softpower.

Pearl of Africa -hotelli kukkulan päällä Kampalassa Ugandassa.
(In background) Pearl of Africa hotel in Kampala, Uganda. Image: Godong / Lehtikuva

New developments in the case surrounding a Finnish businessman who was found dead in a Kampala hotel room at the beginning of last month continue to emerge.

The Finnish consultant had been in the country promoting products for the majority state-owned Finnish defence contractor Patria. In the days and weeks following the man's death, two Patria executives left the company and Suvi Lindén, a former Finnish minister who'd travelled to Uganda with the victim, has distanced herself from the incident.

His death, and the similar deaths of two other foreign nationals around the same time, has sparked investigations by Ugandan police as well as the country's Internal Security Organisation (ISO).

About two weeks ago, Uganda's former Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura confirmed the Finnish businessman and a Swedish national had died within a period of two days at two separate hotels in Kampala, due to the use of narcotic drugs.

A toxicology report from Ugandan police said traces of cocaine and an unspecified pesticide were found in the Finn's remains.

ISO: Discrepancies in wire tap recordings of journalist

On Tuesday Softpower reported that the ISO has dismissed the police investigation, claiming the police's conclusions were not in step with their own investigation.

Softpower reported that the ISO claims that the video footage of security cameras at the Pearl of Africa hotel — where the Finnish consultant's body was found — had been tampered with.

The news site, which said it had seen two versions of footage around the time the Finn was found dead, said that the alleged doctored video the police were using showed the victim walking out of his hotel room. The footage which the ISO said is the unaltered video does not show the Finn walking out. Both pieces of video footage were reportedly photographed on the same night, Softpower reported.

"Some people treated us to some funny information from a certain video photography trying to divert us from the right information," the ISO'S director for political affairs Joseph Aliganyira said, according to Softpower.

Aliganyira said that local police were using doctored footage which contained "insertions, removal of images, creating someone to look like [the victim] yet it wasn't him."

The ISO claims that the doctored video had been recorded in high definition while the real footage was captured using lower resolution CCTV cameras.

Charles Etukuri
Ugandan journalist at New Vision news outlet, Charles Etukuri. Image: Teemu Juhola / Yle

The ISO also said that there were further discrepancies shown in audio recordings of phone conversations between Finnish journalists and Ugandan journalist Charles Etukuri — who was detained for several days shortly after publishing an extensive story on the case.

The ISO said Etukuri, who became a suspect in the case after his story was posted on news site New Vision, made contradictory statements about the case to Finnish reporters.

Etukuri denied the ISO's allegations during a conversation with Yle on Tuesday.

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