Croatia charges top official over military contract bribe

Croatia, which has been a NATO member since 2009, had ordered the overhaul of seven MiGs and purchased five more.

Croatia charges top official over military contract bribe

World Bulletin / News Desk

Croatian prosecutors on Friday charged two people, including a top defence ministry official, for bribes allegedly paid over a multi-million euro contract to overhaul the country's military jets.

The official sought bribes from two foreign firms to "ensure an advantage in obtaining a business deal for the overhaul and procurement of additional MiG-21 fighter planes", anti-graft prosecutors said in a statement.

One of the companies refused to pay the 50,000 euros ($53,000) demanded.

But the prosecutors said the second suspect, a Croatian who represented another foreign company, agreed to pay, and gave the official at least 10,000 euros on two occasions in January and February this year.

A deal, worth 17 million euros according to local media, for the overhaul and procurement of the Russian-made MiG-21s was signed with Ukraine's state-run Ukrspecexport in 2013.

But when the planes were delivered in mid-2015, the new jets had to be grounded because of technical problems.

A probe revealed that the planes purchased in Ukraine were older than their documents showed, raising suspicions about their origins as well as whether the overhaul was conducted at all.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Aralık 2016, 20:45