10 April 2008

A victory against BAE

"No-one, whether within this country or outside, is entitled to interfere with the course of our justice. It is the failure of Government and the defendant [the Director of the Serious Fraud Office] to bear that essential principle in
mind that justifies the intervention of this court."

"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."

A pretty emphatic verdict from the High Court in the battle over the Saudi-BAE corruption case, then. Stopping a Serious Fraud Office inquiry on the grounds of 'national security' was one of the most reprehensible acts of the Blair premiership.

Well done to CAAT and The Corner House who brought the case (and see the Control BAE website for more details).

The stock market reacted with its usual ethical indifference - BAE shares were down 1.3 %, only marginally below the FTSE average for the day's trading. Business-as-usual, in other words. How about, just for once, instead of the government interfering in the legal process to prevent investigations into fraud, it regulates the arms trade instead?