PATRIA affair still haunts Croatia

PATRIA affair still haunts Croatia


By Natasa Radic – Zagreb

The Finnish public prosecutor announced on Friday that it will file charges against the former CEO and two former employees of the company Patria Vehicles Oy on suspicion of bribery that helped sell Patria AMV to Croatia in 2007.

Finnish nationals were charged because via their intermediaries they promised or gave a bribe to former Croatian president and former director of the company “Djuro Djakovic” as a reward for their preferential treatment when buying Finnish vehicles for the Croatian Army, said a press release from the Finnish State Attorney’s Office in which no names were specifically mentioned. But the events took place during the mandate of the former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, who in April 2012. rejected any suspicions by pointing out that he did not participate, nor in any way affect the decision to buy armored vehicles.

Director of the “Djuro Djakovic – Special vehicles” was Bartol Jerkovic, who also rejected the suspicion of corruption.

The Finnish public prosecutor suspects that the Finns have promised, and partly paid bribes in the amount of five percent of the sales price of armored vehicles.

In 2005 Patra has offered Croatia armoured vehicles at a cost of more than € 350 million, and in 2007. concluded the sales contract for 84 vehicles in the amount of 112 million euros.

After that Patria Vehicles Oy paid out, according to the Finnish public prosecutor, 1.5 million euros as part of the alleged bribes through intermediaries in Austria.

-Nobody has offered me anyhing, nor did I have any reason to ask anyone in that sense to give me money. I do not know why should anyone give money to me when I did not participate in decision-making process- said former Croatian President Stipe Mesic in his statement for the Croatian Radio.

– It’s probably someone out there in Finland who picked up the money, but then you should look for those persons in Finland who raised the money. It would be interesting to see any evidence that involves me and I’m also interested to know in what language did we arrange all of this. The only thing they can prove that I have known Finnish, and then I have forgotten it – the former president concluded.