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Defense Chief Lindberg not to seek a second term

21 Jan 2019, 23:49 ( 7 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Photo Source: Puolustusvoimat/Finnish Defence Forces.

Defense Forces will have a new commander later this year, as the current General Jarmo Lindberg said on Monday he would not seek a second term.

Earlier this month, the commander of the air force Sampo Eskelinen made a similar decision, after he was charged on alleged neglect of duties for not acting fast enough in the investigation of the behavior of a colonel.

Lindberg has not been charged, but an initial police probe on him is under way related to the same issue. Lindberg's tenure ends in August.

Following Lindberg's announcement on Monday, President Sauli Niinistö said in a statement that the recent personnel changes at the top of the military were not caused by the negative publicity.

Niinistö said that the changes would not impact the capability of the defense forces. Lindberg also told media on Monday he did not see that a change in the position of commander would affect decisions about the purchase of new jet fighters.

 Lindberg said the negative publicity might actually be positive to the defense forces. "It indicates that we intervene in these matters and do not accept improper behavior," he was quoted by the national broadcaster Yle as saying.

Niinistö said he had a talk with general Lindberg at the end of November 2018 and then "as a result of joint understanding" initiated the process of appointing a new commander. Niinistö did not give further details about the decision.