UK drops Saudi fraud investigation

Arms deal corruption inquiry had threatened sale of Eurofighter jets.

    BAE agreed a $19.8 billion deal with Saudi Arabia for 72 Eurofighter jets this year

    Lord Peter Goldsmith, the British attorney-general, said the decision had been made "in the wider public interest", which had to be balanced against the rule of law.
     
    He told the House of Lords that Tony Blair, the British prime minister, had agreed that the continuation of the investigation would cause "serious damage" to British-Saudi relations.
     
    He said Blair and Des Browne, the British defence secretary, "have expressed the clear view that continuation of the investigation would cause serious damage to UK/Saudi security, intelligence and diplomatic co-operation".
     
    He said this in turn "is likely to have seriously negative consequences for the UK public interest in terms of both national security and our highest priority foreign policy objectives in the Middle East".
     
    The SFO said in a statement: "No weight has been given to commercial interests or to the national economic interest."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.