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Thursday, April 24, 2008

UK-Saudi arms case appeal approved

BAE systems signed a lucrative arms contract with the Saudis worth about $40bn [EPA]
Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has been allowed to contest a high court ruling that it acted unlawfully when it dropped a corruption inquiry into an arms deal between Saudi Arabia and the UK's BAE Systems in the 1980s and 1990s. Judges on Thursday quashed the SFO's decision to drop the investigation, but gave the agency the go-ahead to appeal to the House of Lords, the UK's highest court. The SFO had been investigating deals between British Aerospace Engineering and the Saudi government in which BAE was alleged to have paid millions of dollars to Saudi officials. The investigation was dropped after Saudi Arabia threatened to stop sharing intelligence with Britain. Earlier this month two high court judges described the government's dropping of the investigation as 'abject surrender' to Saudi threats. UK-Saudi arms case appeal approved


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