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Patria begins appeal in Egyptian bribery case

Neither prosecutors nor defendants were satisfied with a judgment handed down in 2012 in a bribery case against Finnish defence equipment contractor Patria. The firm is now seeking to recover the cost of legal proceedings in a case involving the alleged bribery of Egyptian officials in an arms deal.

Patria-oikeudenkäynti Pirkanmaan käräjäoikedessa
Image: Antti Eintola / Yle

Finnish materiel contractor Patria went back to court Tuesday in an attempt to recover legal costs incurred during a trial in which four former employees were accused of paying bribes to Egyptian civil servants in an artillery weapons deal.

Neither the four defendants nor the state prosecutor were satisfied with the judgment handed down by the district court last summer.

Although the case against the company itself crumbled in court, the four former executive employees received suspended prison sentences for offences including aggravated accounting offences.

The district court found that there was strong evidence to support the claim of payments not linked to normal business practices.

Bribery charges dismissed

The court found that the artillery deal brokered with Patria by the Egyptian company AZE (Abu Zaabal Engineering Industries) could be compared to a contract with a limited liability company, and in this respect, the individuals who were allegedly bribed were not government officials.

As such, the Patria employees were found not guilty of bribing civil servants.

The case also involved a deal for technology transfer undersigned in June 2009 by Patria’s development subsidiary Patria Vammas and a department of the Egyptian Munitions Ministry.

Prosecutors were also investigating Patria in relation to other defence equipment contracts with Croatia and Slovenia.

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