'National Interest' Halts Arms Corruption Inquiry ( ? )

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'National Interest' Halts Arms Corruption Inquiry ( ? )

Postby Louis P. Burns aka Lugh » Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:01 pm

'National Interest' Halts Arms Corruption Inquiry ( ? )

David Leigh and Rob Evans writing for The Guardian - wrote: A major criminal investigation into alleged corruption by the arms company BAE Systems and its executives was stopped in its tracks yesterday when the prime minister claimed it would endanger Britain's security if the inquiry was allowed to continue.

The remarkable intervention was announced by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, who took the decision to end the Serious Fraud Office inquiry into alleged bribes paid by the company to Saudi officials, after consulting cabinet colleagues.

In recent weeks, BAE and the Saudi embassy had frantically lobbied the government for the long-running investigation to be discontinued, with the company insisting it was poised to lose another lucrative Saudi contract if it was allowed to go on. This came at a time when the SFO appeared to have made a significant breakthrough, with investigators on the brink of accessing key Swiss bank accounts.
    How is this in any way in the 'national interest'? What do we gain from Lord Goldsmith ending a Serious Fraud Office inquiry or covering BAE Systems, some Saudi officials, Tony Blair and his government's backs? This is a clear example of a privileged few re-inventing the law to suit themselves and to protect their assets, businesses and future lucrative arms contracts.
David Leigh and Rob Evans writing for The Guardian - wrote:Clare Short, Mr Blair's former cabinet colleague, said: "This government is even more soiled than we thought it was. It means that BAE is above the law."

She added: "The message it sends to corrupt businessmen is carry on - the government will support you."

Liberal Democrat Lord Goodhart said: "If, as appears to be the case, this further investigation is being stopped because of potential damage to security, intelligence and diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, doesn't that amount to blackmail by Saudi Arabia, to prevent this matter going forward?"
    Click the title at the top of this page or here to read the full article.

    Any thoughts people?

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