Thursday, 05. December 2013 - 16:12
04. 01. 11. - 17:00
A team of Croatian, Finnish and Austrian investigators has began a probe into the 2007 sales of 84 armoured modural vehicles (AMV) by the Finnish company Patria to Croatia.
It is suspected that Patria's leadership had bribed certain Croatian politicians in order to receive the contract from the Croatian Ministry of Defense (MORH).
The team of investigators established in August of last year will look into the first contract between MORH and Patria worth 112 million Euros and signed by the then-minister Berislav Roncevic.
A year later, MORH signed another contract with Patria for a purchase of additional 42 vehicles worth 68 million Euros. This agreement is not under investigation, however. MORH has said that it has no knowledge of any investigation and that they haven not yet been contacted regarding the case. MORH also claims that the process of AMV purchases was transparent and in no way related to what had happened in Slovenia, where eight officials were charged with taking bribes. Former Slovenian premier Janez Jansa was among the eight, the daily writes.
The two countries, however, are linked through Patria's representatives who were in charge of both territories. Patria's representative for both Slovenia and Croatia was Reijo Niityenen, while the head of the company was Jorma Wittakorpi.
The main go-between between Patria and Slovenian authorities was an Austrian businessman Walter Wolf, which is the reason for Austrian investigators' involvement. The investigation could also include Wolfgang Riedl, another one of Patria's Austrian representatives in Slovenia and Croatia.
Last year the Croatian daily Jutarnji List published a part of the 2005 correspondence between Wolfgang Riedl and Reiju Nittynenu in which bribing had been implied.
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