The motivation behind the appeal was to clarify incidents leading up to the deal between Patria management and the Slovenian government. The case concerned Patria’s sale of 135 AMV armoured vehicles to Slovenia in 2006.
In its decision, the court said it wasn’t proven that a fee paid to Slovenia’s Austrian consulting firm, from top officials at Patria, was a bribe.
According to the prosecutor, supplemental payments were made as part of the deal that were intended to serve as a bribe for Slovenian officials.
While the charges were rejected in Hämeenlinna District Court in January of 2014, the decision handed down at the time indicated there was still a reasonable doubt remaining.
The case involved Patria’s former director Jorma Wiitakorpi, Heikki Hulkkonen, director of the subsidiary Patria Vehicles at the time of the deal, and two others who worked as operative managers at Patria at the time.
Burden of proof on prosecution
The court said it was up to the prosecution to prove that the consulting fee was paid in order to affect the armoured vehicle sale.
The appeals court also said that it was the fault of the Finnish state that the appeal process was delayed by more than a year and each of the defendants were awarded 1,500 euros.
Another of Patria’s international armoured vehicle deals that ended up in court, with Croatia, remains in the Turku Court of Appeal.
Prosecutors have criticised the splitting up of the Croatian and Slovenian cases and said that they should have been addressed in a single trial.