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Ex-Patria Execs Convicted of Bookkeeping Crimes

Jun. 23, 2011 - 03:45AM   |  
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HELSINKI - A Finnish court on June 23 said it found four former executives of defense contractor Patria guilty of bookkeeping crimes but cleared them of charges of bribing Egyptian officials.

The court ruling in the Western city of Tampere found the former head of Patria's land services unit, Markku Murto, and the unit's chief financial officer, Seppo Mustonen, "guilty of accounting crimes and aggravated accounting crimes."

Murto and Mustonen received seven-month suspended prison sentences.

Land services unit sales manager Kalle Ylinen and project manager Pertti Simola received three- and four-month sentences, respectively, for assisting in committing those crimes.

"The conclusion is that false or misleading information was attached to Patria's accounting," the court found.

The company officials were cleared of aggravated bribery charges.

State prosecutor Ari-Pekka Koivisto was seeking up to four years in prison for the defendants, accusing the four men of sending 1.3 million euros in illegal payments to Egyptian officials between 1999 and 2006.

The court threw out allegations that the money was paid in the form of bribes on behalf of Patria in order to further its artillery sales in Egypt.

The Finnish state owns 73.2 percent of Patria, and the rest is held by European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).

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