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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:04 PM
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Saudi inquiry decision faces legal challenge
PM and attorney general offer different accounts of why probe was dropped


The government's controversial decision to drop a Serious Fraud Office investigation into allegations that Saudi officials were bribed to win a lucrative order for a British arms firm could be challenged in the high court, it emerged last night.

Anti-arms trade campaigners yesterday instructed lawyers to consider a legal action against Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, after he halted the SFO inquiry into allegations of corruption by officials from BAE Systems when sealing the Al-Yamamah deal in the 1980s.

The pressure groups Campaign against the Arms Trade and the Corner House, a social and environmental justice group, believe the grounds for the decision - made after the prime minister warned it was against Britain's security and foreign policy interests - could be subject to judicial review. A leading QC, David Pannick, has been hired.

Yesterday confusion over the background to the decision to halt the arms corruption inquiry deepened as Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith offered apparently conflicting explanations.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1973355,00...
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:23 PM
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1. Not that I see how judicial review would help
but it's a very corrupt decision and brings the whole government into deep disrepute.
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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:30 PM
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2. Corruption inquiry to go on despite collapse of arms case
Serious Fraud Office investigators will continue their investigation into the activities of BAE in five countries, despite the collapse of the 2 million inquiry into the alleged use of slush funds to bribe Saudi Arabian officials.

Yesterday the SFO said that the 20-strong team of SFO and Ministry of Defence police were still examining corruption allegations over arms sales in Tanzania, Chile, Romania, South Africa and the Czech Republic.

There were reports that staff were surprised by the decision over the Saudi allegations, but SFO sources rejected any suggestion that morale had been hit or that the unit would be deterred from any investigations abroad.

The Times revealed last month that the SFO was investigating BAEs sale of a 28 million military air traffic control system to Tanzania.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2507668,00.ht...
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