In December, in a blatant violation of international anti-bribery agreements, the UK Serious Fraud Office terminated its investigation into BAE Systems’ dealings with Saudi Arabia, citing national security considerations. The decision carries profound implications for international corruption, and raises questions about the conflicts of interest between the Attorney General’s role as a politician and his responsibility for the work of the SFO. It also irreparably damages the country’s reputation. The decision has been questioned by the OECD and a legal challenge has been initiated by two NGOs, The Corner House and the Campaign Against the Arms Trade. Nicholas Hildyard, who works with The Corner House, will discuss the case and its probable consequences.
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