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Finnish peacekeeper fined for drunken misconduct in Central Africa

A lieutenant colonel had been drunk and grabbed a subordinate on Independence Day in December 2014.

Lähikuva EUFOR RCA -operaation hihamerkistä sotilaan asepuvussa.
Image: Zurab Kurtsikidze / EPA

A Finnish peacekeeper stationed in the Central African Republic was fined on Wednesday for official misconduct for an incident that took place in December 2014.

The Helsinki court of appeal found that a lieutenant colonel had been severely inebriated on Independence Day and lost his operational skills as a result. He had also grabbed a subordinate.

The lieutenant colonel was fined 1,260 euros.

Charges dismissed over ethnic comments

Another defendant, a lieutenant senior grade, was charged with neglecting his duty to behave properly by commenting on the ethnic origin of an interpreter.

He had, for example, told the interpreter that “no Arab pop will be played in the patrol car.” On two other occasions, he had spoken of his subordinate as “an Arab.”

The charges against the lieutenant senior grade were dropped.

While the court found that references to ethnic origin can in principle amount to discrimination, in these cases the defendant’s comments related to a type of music and were a consequence of his language skills.

He had also stopped using such expressions after he had been admonished for their use, the court said.

The Finns were stationed in the Central African Republic as part of European Union’s EUFOR operation in 2014-2015.

The court's decision can be appealed.

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