International Watchdog Criticises Cancellation of BAE Investigation

by Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House

first published 17 October 2008

On 17 October 2008, the OECD's Working Group on Bribery issued a report, which holds that the UK authorities did breach their obligations under the OECD Anti Bribery Convention when the Serious Fraud Office cancelled its investigation into arms deals between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia in December 2006. The Corner House and the Campaign Against Arms Trade welcomed the OECD report as a vindication of their judicial review of the SFO decision.

Nicholas Hildyard of The Corner House commented:

The OECD's damming rebuke bears out what anti-corruption activists have been saying all along: the UK government has a big mouth when it comes to the rhetoric, and in telling the rest of the world what to do, but it doesn't practise what it preaches. In fact, it takes action to do precisely the opposite. Parliament should urgently review the political, legal and constitutional issues raised without delay. There is an urgent need to strengthen parliamentary scrutiny of the advice upon which any decision to halt a criminal prosecution or investigation on national security grounds is taken.

Both groups issued this press release (see PDF link above). To read the full report on the OECD website, click here.


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