Further hearing over BAE-Saudi corruption enquiry

By Simon Barrow
April 22, 2008

A short 'relief hearing' will take place at 10.00am on 23 April at the Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London, following the High Court judgment which held that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had acted unlawfully by cutting short a corruption investigation into arms deals between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia.

UPDATE **The High Court has re-opened the investigation** - http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/7051

At the hearing the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House will ask the Court to issue a formal declaration that the SFO has acted unlawfully and must rescind its decision to halt the investigation. The Court will also consider any application for leave to appeal. The hearing is scheduled to last for one hour.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade. The Corner House is an environmental and social justice NGO. Leigh Day & Co have represented them throughout the judicial review process, along with counsel from Blackstone Chambers. For more information, please visit www.controlbae.org; www.caat.org.uk, or www.thecornerhouse.org.uk.

The judgment of the High Court was handed down on 10 April 2008 by Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Sullivan, following a judicial review brought by The Corner House and CAAT. They ruled that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), on the advice of the government, had acted unlawfully by terminating an investigation into BAE's Saudi arms deals on 14 December 2006, following lobbying by BAE and Saudi representatives.

The Saudi regime had threatened to cancel an arms deal and withdraw diplomatic and intelligence co-operation. This was described by the judges as a "successful attempt by a foreign government to pervert the course of justice in the United Kingdom".

Details of the Court number at which the hearing will take place will be published on the Court Service Website by 4.30pm on Wednesday 23 April. Please see www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/list_admin.htm.

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