BAE and Serious Fraud Office - the latest
I have the view that the Serious Fraud Office should investigate allegations of serious fraud – the clue to what they should be doing is in the name of the organisation! The government appealed against the legal ruling that the Serious Fraud Office should not have stopped its investigation into deals between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia.
Campaigners were expecting to wait until October for the decision on the appeal but the legal wheels have worked much quicker – the Law Lords announced their decision on 30 July 2008.
The result is not so good for campaigners such as those of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade. The Law Lords decided that it was right for the Director of the Serious Fraud Office to end the investigation on the grounds of national security. I understand that this refers to an alleged threat from the Saudi government not to share information about terrorism with the UK government if the investigation continued.The trouble is that the government can invoke national security without explaining too much and then awkward facts can be kept out of the public eye.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.