Finnish Prosecution Service has brought charges of aggravated bribery and business
Former CEOs of Finnish Patria Oyj and its affiliate Patria Vehicles Oy as well as four other employees of the Patria Group will be facing charges of aggravated bribery and business espionage in a case linked to the sale of Patria AMV -type armoured vehicles to the republic of Slovenia in 2006.
Finnish prosecutors, state prosecutor Jukka Rappe and districtprosecutor Timo Kokkomäki, also demand for corporate fine against Patria Vehicles Oy, renamed Patria Land Services Oy.
The defendants are suspected to have participated in promising orgiving of bribes in the shape of commission payments throughintermediaries in exchange for actions of Slovenian public officials and military officers. These, among others the prime minister and the deputy chief of General Staff of Slovenia, were considered to have leverage in the procurement procedure of the vehicles.
Alleged bribes are suspected to comprise a remarkable part of the commission payments, which were promised to the amount of at least 10 % of the total value of the sale, which exceeded € 160 million.
Only a part of the commission payments had been paid out, when an attempt to make a further transfer of money in Austria was exposed as suspected money laundering. As a result of this, an extensive pre-trial investigation was launched in co-operation of Finnish, Austrian and Slovenian authorities.
In course of the pre-trial investigation of the suspected corruption case also documents supposed to contain trade secrets of an Austriancompetitor of Patria were found in possession of the suspects, which gave rise to suspicions of business espionage.
So far, the case has resulted in criminal charges in all three countries mentioned above. In Finland the prosecutors have filed an application for a summons at District Court of Kanta-Häme in Hämeenlinna, where the case will be heard in due time.
All suspects have denied accusations against them.
The trial documents remain classified until the first hearing of the case or until the District Court rules separately about the publicity of thedocuments.