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Daily: Four ex-Patria employees suspects in Croatian bribery case

Police suspect four former employees of the Finnish defence contractor Patria of wrongdoing in a high-profile bribery case involving the sale of defence equipment to Croatia. According to a report in the daily Turun Sanomat, they are also suspected of offering bribes in a deal with Slovenia.

Image: YLE

Police have completed their investigations into a shady defence deal between military hardware manufacturer Patria and the Croatian government. Four former employees of the Finnish firm are suspected of aggravated bribery in military supply deal.

The bribery suspicions centre on the sale of 84 armoured personnel carriers in 2007 to the Croatian government for 112 million euros.

According to lead investigator Kaj Björkvist of the National Bureau of Investigations, the same ex-employees are also under the radar with respect to a tainted deal with Slovenia, where a similar bribery operation took place.

“The same consultant who was involved with the Slovenia deal received a 30 percent upfront payment. A total of about 1.5 million euros was paid out in bribes,” Björkvist told the daily.

During a preliminary investigation all of the suspects denied involvement in any form of bribery. The case will be handed over to prosecutors at the beginning of July.

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