BAE guilty but escapes court


Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House were shocked and angered by the decision of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to settle with BAE Systems. As a result of the settlement there will be no opportunity to discover the truth behind alleged bribery and corruption in the many BAE deals that were under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

While the acceptance of guilt in relation to Tanzania is welcome, the investigations related to other countries including South Africa and the Czech Republic were far more significant. SFO investigations of deals with several countries were continuing up until today, and only last week the SFO charged a former BAE agent with corruption in relation to deals with several European countries.
The SFO settlement was announced in conjunction with the US Department of Justice whose fine concerned BAE's deals with Saudi Arabia. While the combined fine is more significant, the UK penalty of £30 million is a tiny price for BAE to pay to see the end of the investigations that had been gathering evidence for years and were coming to a head.

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