Finnish firm speaks out on death of its associate in a Kampala hotel

Terasvouri was found dead at Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala: NET PHOTO

The managing director of a Finnish weapons company has admitted that he erred when he permitted a businessman, who later died in a Kampala hotel, permission to market their products in Uganda.

Tersvouri Toomajuha Petteri died at at Pearl of Africa Hotel on February 8 in what Ugandan police is now treating as a murder case after foreign chemicals were found in his bodies following a toxicology report.

And now Mr Olli Isotalo, the CEO of Patria, says whereas Petteri was in Uganda to market its products, he was granted permission by the sales manager, which is against the company protocol.

“It was an error of judgment, because the permission would’ve required an approval from the superior of the sales manager, and assessments in accordance with the processes of Patria,” Mr Isotalo is quoted as saying in an interview with YLE, a Finland newspaper, on Tuesday.

He added that whereas Patria had conducted a background check on Petteri and found him to be of good repute, the company cannot sell their weapons to Uganda.

“Uganda has been listed, for example, for human rights violations by Transparency International. Patria is not looking for business there,” Mr Isotalo is quoted as saying.

He said Petterri was neither under contract at Patria nor in Africa at the request of Patria, and that he had simply been given a permission to distribute brochures for the products of the defence manufacturer.

The death of Petteri and a Swedish national, Alex Sebastian, at Sheraton Hotel on February 6, has puzzled the security agencies.

Releasing a toxicology report of the deceased foreign nationals on Monday, Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima said they are now treating the deaths as murder.

“These substances were found in their bodies. We are now investigating murder because it has been scientifically proved that they died of foreign substances,” he said but refused to give details, saying it could jeopardize ongoing investigations.



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