Friday, February 15, 2008

Judicial Review of Serious Fraud Office decision to stop BAE-Saudi corruption inquiry

Yesterday and today the High Court in London has been holding a judicial review hearing into the Serious Fraud Office decision to stop BAE-Saudi corruption inquiry. The review was sought by the Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House.

Update from the Corner House:

"On Friday 15 February, at the end of the two-day hearing in the UK's High
Court, the two judges did not give a ruling but said they would do so 'as
soon as possible'.

Documents made public on the first day of the hearing (14 February 2008)
reveal that BAE Systems wrote to the Attorney General on a 'strictly
private and confidential' basis urging him to halt the Serious Fraud
Office investigation into allegations that BAE had bribed Saudi Arabian
officials to secure the Al Yamamah arms deal.

The company argued that the investigation should be dropped on commercial
and diplomatic grounds.

To see these and other documents, follow the links from the home page of
our website ( or go to the 'Control BAE'
( website.

Below is some of the UK media's coverage of the judicial review over the
past few days.

best wishes from all at The Corner House

Susan Hawley, Nicholas Hildyard, Sarah Sexton and Larry Lohmann


1) 'BAE: secret papers reveal threats from Saudi prince'
The Guardian, Friday 15 February 2008

2) 'A cover-up laid bare: court hears how SFO inquiry was halted'
The Guardian, Friday 15 February 2008

3) 'Government rolled over to Saudi BAE threats, says judge'
The Guardian, Thursday 14 February 2008

4) 'Judge criticises dropping of BAE inquiry'
Financial Times, Friday 15 February 2008

5) 'Blair used 'irresistible pressure' to halt investigation into
BAE-Saudi arms deal'
The Independent, Friday 15 February 2008

6) 'Britain powerless in face of Saudi threats, court told'
· Judges sceptical about efforts to resist pressure
· BAE review told ministers entitled to ignore treaty
The Guardian, Saturday February 16 2008

7) 'SFO was 'powerless' to resist Saudi pressure over BAE investigation'
The Times, Saturday February 16, 2008

8) 'Justice has been debased in the fight against terror'
The Observer, Sunday February 17 2008"

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