Monday, July 9, 2007

Much-Investigated British Defense Company About To Sell More Planes to the Saudis

Spencer Ackerman writes:
"So here's yet another instance of shadiness to add to the BAE bribery scandal. Up until December, the British Government's Serious Fraud Office had a wide-ranging corruption investigation open into alleged kickbacks paid by defense giant BAE Systems to prominent Saudi officials -- including, allegedly, Prince Bandar, the ex-ambassador to the U.S. -- in order to secure a multi-billion arms deal. Suddenly, then-PM Tony Blair announced an abrupt end to the SFO inquiry, citing unspecified national security concerns. And while the inquiry ended, the stain on BAE's reputation by the probe was enough to push the Justice Department into opening its own corruption investigation of the company ahead of its scheduled purchase of a U.S. armor manufacturer. "
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