Update: May 19, 2008 – BAE chief subpoenaed in U.S.
CAAT and the Corner House Win Judicial Review!
We are delighted to be able to bring you the news that along with The Corner House we have WON our Judicial Review! The High Court has this morning ruled that the Government acted unlawfully when it curtailed a corruption investigation into BAE Systems’ Al Yamamah arms deals with Saudi Arabia. The full text of the judgment, as well as the judges’ summary and our press release is available on our website http://www.caat.org.uk.
As a result of this judgment the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) will have to reconsider the decision to end the investigation. We are calling on Gordon Brown to make a commitment that there will be NO FURTHER GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE.
The Corrupt Saudi Royals
Background: A Saudi prince who negotiated a £40bn arms deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia received secret payments for over a decade, a BBC probe has found.
All that BAE has ever rejected is any suggestion that the commission payments were illegal – Robert Peston, BBC Business Editor
Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States, meets George W. Bush in August 2002
Background: Bandar helped negotiate the 1985 Al Yamamah deal, a series of massive arms sales by the United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia worth GB£40 billion (US$80 billion), including the sale of more than 100 warplanes. After the deal was signed, British arms manufacturer British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) allegedly funneled secret payments of at least GB£1 billion (US$2 billion) into two Saudi embassy accounts in Washington, in yearly installments of up to GB£120 million (US$240 million) over at least 10 years. Bandar allegedly took money for personal use out of the accounts, as the purpose of one of the accounts was to pay the operating expenses of the prince’s private Airbus A340. According to investigators, there was “no distinction between the accounts of the embassy, or official government accounts […], and the accounts of the royal family.” The payments were discovered during a Serious Fraud Office investigation, which was stopped in December 2006 by attorney general Lord Goldsmith.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia: A War Criminal!
We need your help!
– Please sign our petition urging Gordon Brown to make a commitment that there will be no further government interference into the SFO’s investigation into the Al Yamamah arms deals. The petition can be found at this link http://www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/controlBAE/petition/petition.php .
We will be sending the petition to the Prime Minister next week so please sign it and forward it to friends as soon as you can.