14 February 2018

Uganda: Death of Europeans - Police Waits On ISO for Preliminary Report

Photo: The Observer
Army spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire

Four people have been arrested as investigations widen into last week's mystery death of two European men at two top Kampala hotels.

Police sources say the suspects were arrested by Internal Security Organisation agents and have been detained at the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).

"Among the suspects, there are three security operatives and Faridah Nakaye who was identified as one of the deceased's (Tuomas Juha) girlfriend. They are being interrogated by ISO operatives and their case is also connected to dealing in narcotics," a source said.

The two Europeans murdered within two days of each other include Finnish entrepreneur Terasvouri Tuomas Juha Petteri, 42, and Alex Nordlarndar Sebastien Andreas, 41, from Sweden.

Petteri is believed to have been an arms dealer here to market security and weapons systems. Some Finnish media have reported that Petteri worked for Patria, a company contracted to supply weapons to the Finnish defence ministry.

The mystery surrounding the deaths deepened yesterday as army spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, said he was not aware that the suspects have been detained at CMI.

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Luke Owoyesigyire had said on February 5, that Sebastien was found dead in his room at Sheraton Kampala hotel, while Petteri was found dead on February 6, at the Pearl of Africa hotel.

"There is nothing much I can tell because the investigations are done by the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and we are waiting for their report," he said yesterday.

Police refused to reveal the suspects' names for fear of jeopardizing inquiries. Owoyesigyire has been quoted elsewhere saying Petteri presented a forged invitation letter purportedly from ISO director general, Col (rtd) Kaka Bagyenda, which was seized at Entebbe airport.

Other police sources say that a postmortem reported inconclusive findings as to the possible cause of death for Petteri.

"At the scene of crime, they only found 14 tins of narcotics and they also observed a brown substance on his lips. They also discovered the deceased had low testosterone which is the condition of producing little sperm while engaging in sex, which might have happened when meeting her girlfriend," one police source said.

However, there is no real suggestion that Petteri was abusing drugs although narcotics were found in his room.

For Sebastien, the postmortem report says he died of hypoxia or hypertension after difficulty in breathing. It is alleged that Petteri was reportedly accompanied by a Ugandan woman, Faridah Nakaye, and other armed people to the Pearl of Africa on the day he arrived only to be found dead at around 7am the next morning, according to Doreen Komuhangi, the hotel's public relations officer.

Sebastien was found dead at midday, hours after being picked by ISO operatives from Entebbe airport. Yesterday, Senior Presidential Press Secretary Don Wanyama denied that Sebastien had been due to meet President Museveni over the weekend as some media have reported.

"It's not true that any of them was going to meet the president," he said.

Petteri travelled to Uganda together with Suvi Linden, a former Finnish minister for communications and member of the National Coalition Party -- the biggest in Finland.

Swedish ambassador Per Lindgarde said yesterday that he cannot comment since investigations are ongoing.

"I can only confirm the death of the Swedish national as we wait for police report. We shall return the body to Sweden shortly after investigations," he said.

Lindgarde also refused to say what Sebastien had come to do in Uganda. Meanwhile, New Vision journalist Charles Etukuri who filed the story of these deaths was yesterday grabbed and taken by men in military uniform from just outside the newspaper premises.

Etukuri's whereabouts remained still unknown. Colleagues say Etukuri received a telephone call shortly after a news planning meeting in the early afternoon and indicated he was stepping out for a lunch meeting.

When he walked out of the building, the unidentified men reportedly emerged from a rough-looking vehicle parked close by, accosted and forced him into their car before speeding off.

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