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Praprotnik, Rok

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Delo - Slovenia | 16/12/2009

Charges against minister in Patria affair

A special group set up by the public prosecutor's office to tackle organised crime on Tuesday brought charges against former defence minister and current Minister for the Environment Karl Erjavec as well as former chief of staff of the Slovenian army Albin Gutman. The two men are implicated in a corruption scandal involving the purchase of tanks from the Finnish firm Patria. These charges are just the beginning, the daily Dnevnik writes: "We will see whether the accused are guilty of having accepted bribes in return for making sure Patria was awarded the contract in Slovenia back in 2005 and 2006. How was it the chairman of Patria put it? Business in Slovenia was conducted according to the local customs. What exactly this entails he didn't explain, but what he was implying is clear. Today we repeat what we wrote a year ago when Slovenia's new Prime Minister Borut Pahor put together his government: Karl Erjavec should not have been made minister again, and he should never again have been entrusted with public funds."

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