International Arrest Warrant Issued for Patria Suspect Wolf
The Ljubljana Local Court issued an international arrest warrant for Walter Wolf, a Canada-based businessman charged with corruption in the Patria defence trial who has failed to appear in court for months. The trial, in which four other defendants, including ex-PM Janez Janša are charged with corruption, is nearing the end.
The move comes only days after the Vienna Provincial Court ruled that Patria middleman, Austrian Wolfgang Riedl, bribed Slovenian representatives in exchange for the EUR 278m defence deal.
Wolf was also among the suspects of the Vienna trial, however his verdict was not announced on Friday because he was not present.
Wolf's lawyer in Slovenia, Andrej Kac, told the STA his client was absent from the Vienna and Ljubljana trials due to health reasons, as he is awaiting major surgery.
He said appropriate documents had been presented and would be re-submitted to the Ljubljana court, rendering the arrest warrant unnecessary.
Apart from Wolf and Janša, the suspects tried at the Ljubljana court include Jože Zagožen, a member of Janša's Democratic Party (SDS), brigadier Tone Krkovič, and Ivan Črnkovič, the boss of Rotis, Patria's Slovenian partner.
All defendants deny being offered or having accepted a bribe in relation to the deal between the Slovenian Defence Ministry and Finnish defence contractor Patria, which was completed in 2006 during the time of Janša's 2004-2008 government.
Today, Črnkovič extended his not-guilty plea, saying among other things that the e-mail correspondence used by the prosecution as key evidence was indeed not related to the Patria deal but to a completely separate biomass business.
The correspondence includes initials of the defendants in the Patria trial and refers to "the party", which the prosecution says was the label for the SDS. Črnkovič claims that Rotis's biomass business included partners with the same initials.