Press release 01st Oct 2009

BAE Systems Bribery Case Prosecution is Welcome News

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Commenting on the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution of BAE Systems for foreign bribery today, Chandu Krishnan, Executive Director of Transparency International UK said:

1 October 2009 - “We welcome this robust action by the SFO and now expect the Attorney General to consent to a prosecution. It sends an important wider message to UK plc that bribery does not pay and has serious consequences. Although the legacy of massive bribery allegations in relation to the Al Yamamah Saudi defence deal still remains with BAE Systems due to the ongoing US investigations, it is important that these other cases are thoroughly scrutinised. The decision to seek a prosecution after years of rumour and allegation means that we will finally know the truth.”

Transparency International UK believes that the resolution of these cases will be a major boost to UK law enforcement. The swift enactment of a new anti-bribery bill and more resources for prosecutors will greatly strengthen that fight.

Notes to the editor
1. The Woolf report was commissioned following a series of corruption allegations involving BAE Systems – including the controversial Al Yamamah UK-Saudi Arabia arms deal and others involving Tanzania, the Czech Republic and South Africa. The Woolf committee’s recommendations were published in May 2008.