Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lords SFO Ruling Sucks Up To Saudis

The Lords ruling over the SFO probe into a Saudi arms deal, riddled with bribery and corruption, lets Blair and the players in this sordid business off the hook. In the US they wouldn't get off that easily.

The Senior Fraud Office (SFO) dropped its inquiry into the £43 billion al-Yamamah deal with BAe Systems when Blair and his Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, stepped in with the dubious claim that it would threaten national security. Apparently, the Saudi government had threatened to withdraw co-operation on security matters.

With a £500 billion Sovereign Wealth Fund just waiting to be invested in the UK, we can't do anything to upset the Saudis, now can we?

The High Court ruled that dropping the investigation was unlawful, but the Law Lords today reversed that decision on appeal.

Campaign group Justice said: "It is a sad day for the rule of law when a senior prosecutor bows to threats from a foreign government and our most senior judges will do nothing to stop it." 

But Blair, Goldsmith, BAe and the Saudis will not get off that easily. The US authorities are on the case. Two senior BAe executives were held by American authorities investigating corruption allegations when they flew into the US in May. 

With tough bribery and competition laws, the US won't let this matter rest.

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