UK MOD facilitated bribes to Saudi prince in arms deal – Guardian — RT World News

Two people accused of corruption were acquitted after showing in a British court that they had acted with London's blessing

Senior British defense officials knowingly continued to do so “outdated” British judicial documents revealed that sums of money were paid to the son of a former Saudi defense minister, while withholding key evidence from the investigation into the deal. The practice reportedly continued even after it caused a major scandal under Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The emails and memos highlighting the arrangement, many of which were classified as confidential and sensitive, were revealed as part of a bribery case that ended in London last week. The payments relate to the so-called Al-Yamamah arms deal from the 1980s, which was the largest arms export sale in modern British history. The recipient of the funds was Prince Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, the son of the Saudi Defense Minister at the time, who played a key role in negotiating the contracts.

The Guardian newspaper revealed the government's involvement in this case in 2003, and its connection to the prince in 2007, and on Monday it spoke about the newly revealed documents in detail.

Money was sent from MoD accounts to Saudi Arabia on a quarterly basis starting in 1988. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) launched an investigation into the payments in 2004, targeting arms giant BAE. But two years later, Blair's government canceled the investigation, claiming that continuing it would harm national interests.

British officials were well aware that the money was being used to cover the prince's personal expenses, such as his private plane, according to new evidence. Stephen Pollard, a senior military official, called for this arrangement 'Increasingly outdated' In one memo, but he said stopping the payments would do that “He risks angering key Saudis.” In 2008, the Department of Defense implemented a new, less obvious mechanism for transferring funds.

The trial in the UK was the SFO's second attempt to prosecute two people, Geoffrey Cook and John Mason, who were accused of paying bribes to several Saudi royal figures. The judge dismissed the first case after it emerged that the Ministry of Defense had failed to provide basic evidence. The two were acquitted at Southwark Crown Court last Wednesday.

Mason (81 years old) and another person, former British army officer Ian Foxley, said they intend to sue the government. Mason demands an unfair trial. Foxley is the whistleblower who sent evidence of the alleged corruption to the Serious Fraud Office. He claimed he had to flee Saudi Arabia due to the threat of arrest after reporting his concerns to his superiors, who allegedly reported him to Riyadh.

You can share this story on social media:

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button