The follwoing press release was issued yesterday:
Thursday 10 April 2008
This morning at 10 o'clock, the UK High Court ruled that the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) acted unlawfully when he stopped a
corruption investigation into BAE Systems' arms deals with Saudi Arabia.
The judgment was handed down in response to a judicial review brought by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House.
The judges described the SFO Director's subsequent termination of the investigation on 14th December 2006 as a 'successful attempt by a foreign
government to pervert the course of justice in the United Kingdom'.
They were scathing about the arguments given in court for ending the investigation:
'It is obvious . . . that the decision to halt the investigation suited the objectives of the executive. Stopping the investigation avoided
uncomfortable consequences, both commercial and diplomatic.'
Both groups would like to thank all those who have supported us throughout the past 16 months in bringing this court case. It wouldn't have been
possible without you!
As we said in our statement read out at the press conference: 'This is not just CAAT's and Corner House's case. It is yours too. It belongs to
everyone who is troubled by corruption, by the arms trade, and by the misuse of national security arguments to protect the powerful'.
This is fantastic news for all involved.
But most of all it's fantastic news for the fight against corruption.
Corruption is a pernicious evil. It takes courage to tackle it. This judgement says the UK must have that courage.