PDA

View Full Version : SFO Investigation Dropped


Choxolate
15th Dec 2006, 13:31
As you may heard the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) have dropped the 2 year enquiry into the deal for Saudi Arabia to buy the Typhoon in the "National Interest" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6182125.stm

Good on 'em - if a few mill were used to grease the tracks to get a multi-billion order who cares? the tax may help our poor MPS to fund their next massive pay rise and what better use of the money could there be?

tony draper
15th Dec 2006, 14:26
Agree 100% if you wish to trade with certain parts of the world where backhanders are the norm it does not pay to tie the hands of your salesmen,watched that liberal dipstick Simon thingy whining on about how wrong it was,silly feckin arsole he probably doesn't have any workers from the aerospace industry in his constituency.
:cool:
I mean nobody would ever get the Euro MP's to do anything were it not for brown envelopes.:E

G-CPTN
15th Dec 2006, 14:31
When in Rome . . .



. . . you'll find a backhander works wonders.

Oh! The tales I could tell . . .

(Actually the real tales didn't start until south of Naples, home of the . . .

. . . if I told you I'd have to kill you - or maybe I'd get kill . . . . . )


PS the 'Ndrangheta was our friend (they protected our vehicles from themselves - well we DID pay them to avoid having our stores plundered).

Tolsti
15th Dec 2006, 14:42
Nah... it's just a setting of precedence so that they can next announce that ''it is not in the national interest'' to prosecute any MPs in the Cash for Peerage scandal.

G-CPTN
15th Dec 2006, 15:50
Jonathan Aitken, Neil Hamilton, brown envelopes.

Who mentioned Al Fayad? (Wrong thread perhaps?)


http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19991115/ai_n14274653

(Includes reference to the Paris Ritz too, BTW.)

Flying Lawyer
15th Dec 2006, 15:58
I've been advising in this (not on the SFO side) for some time and, if I was to be completely mercenary (yes, I know all lawyers are assumed to be), I'd be disappointed the investigation has been terminated.

In fact, I think it was 100% the correct decision, and disagree with the criticism from some quarters.

The investigation has been going on for about 2 years and I estimate it would be about a further 18 month/2 years before the SFO would have been in a position to decide:
(1) whether there was any evidence of illegal payments,
(2) if so, whether there was sufficient evidence to prosecute anyone,
(3) if so, whether a prosecution was likely to be successful, and
(4) if so, whether it was in the public interest to bring a prosecution.

Bear in mind that it wasn’t until 2001 that UK corruption law was extended to include bribing foreign officials. Whatever did or didn’t happen before 2001 could not be an offence under a law which didn’t exist at the time.

This is only a hunch, but I think it unlikely there would have been sufficient (even if any) evidence to mount a prosecution.

Given that there was no suggestion of personal gain, but allegedly things happened to obtain contracts for the benefit of this country, I suspect a jury would have been very reluctant to convict - even if there was evidence of illegal payments.

Even if there was, I have very serious doubts whether it would be in the public interest to rake up old matters.
Does anyone think it would be?




FL

bjcc
15th Dec 2006, 16:36
FL

No, I am not going to disagree with you (for once), but given that you feel, probably with good grounds, that there was little prospect of prosecution and conviction, would it not have been better to let the investigation make reach that conclution?

The way this has been abandoned will, without any doubt cause a large number of people to belive that the decision is bent, irrespective of the true facts.

G-CPTN
15th Dec 2006, 16:50
So it would be (ethically) better to allow the (seriously) potential disruption of a possible order for Typhoon, rather than realise that the investigation (which was plainly an irritant to the negotiating process) was going nowhere and therefore kick it into touch?

And there WAS the adjudged effect on cooperation over anti-terrorist matters.

No contest in my book. Don't try to push water uphill with a fork.

bjcc
15th Dec 2006, 18:04
G-CPTN

Unless you are 'inside' an investigation, then you cannot know what is plainly flawed and what is not.

Just as any allagation could be rubbish, there may also be a case to answer. Until that allagation is fully investigated then you cannot tell. You can believe, which is not the same thing. I doubt you would claim that investigations against Police should be discontinued because they are plainly rubbish, which a majority are.

Is it better to have won something fairly, and with the knowladge that it has been proven that's the way a contact was made?

Of course, I also realise that this is the real world, and that may well be the way buissness is done in some parts, but if this had been an investigation into wingnut makers selling to some out of the way African Country, what would you, and others be screaming now? Cover up I suspect, which is what a large number of people are going to believe now. Had the investigation been completed, that smell of curruption, if it had not been removed, would have been reduced.

slim_slag
15th Dec 2006, 18:11
They shouldn't have passed the law if they were going to interfere with the police when they tried to enforce it. I mean, it's hardly a secret that you have to bribe these people to get their business. Just another lip service law passed by our glorious leaders, and just another foreign nation telling our leaders how high to jump.

tilewood
15th Dec 2006, 18:23
I wish the SFO would concentrate on New Labour and No 10. If ever a serious fraud was perpetrated on the British electorate it is centred there.

At least Bae is going to produce wealth and create jobs and expertise.

Bliar and his cabal must be the worst government ever.

Illegal war.
Peerages for donations.
Law and disorder.
Uncontrolled immigration.
Hospitals and A&E services closing.
Police stations closing.
Post Offices closing.
3000 new laws
ID cards.
Higher and higher taxes.
Political correctness.
Bush poodle.

etc. etc.

It makes anything Bae may or may not have done seems small fry indeed!!

tony draper
15th Dec 2006, 18:24
Has the SFO ever succeeded with a prosecution? seems to me their record is very bad,long drawn out very very expensive trials that are generaly abandoned at some point due to some **** up or the other this of course they immediately blame on the jury who are apparently all to thick to understand the evidence
I begin to suspect the SFO is one of those very nice safe lucrative Jobs for the Boys organisations.
:uhoh:

G-CPTN
15th Dec 2006, 18:43
G-CPTN
Unless you are 'inside' an investigation, then you cannot know what is plainly flawed and what is not.
Just as any allagation could be rubbish, there may also be a case to answer. Until that allagation is fully investigated then you cannot tell. You can believe, which is not the same thing. I doubt you would claim that investigations against Police should be discontinued because they are plainly rubbish, which a majority are.
Is it better to have won something fairly, and with the knowladge that it has been proven that's the way a contact was made?
Of course, I also realise that this is the real world, and that may well be the way buissness is done in some parts, but if this had been an investigation into wingnut makers selling to some out of the way African Country, what would you, and others be screaming now? Cover up I suspect, which is what a large number of people are going to believe now. Had the investigation been completed, that smell of curruption, if it had not been removed, would have been reduced.
I was basing my 'evidence' upon the qualified opinion expressed by Flying Lawyer, bjcc.
Nowhere did I allude to Police. That is disgraceful thread drift on your part.
Personally I have no doubt (based on hearsay) that the bribes were paid. Flying Lawyer's point is that the law prohibiting such payments isn't retrospective, so, ergo, no offence was committed.
The suggestion by you that the investigation should proceed lacks purpose. By that token all cases that the Crown Prosecution Service feel have little or no chance of succeeding should proceed in order to prove that there is no case to answer. Logical? I think not.

mutt
15th Dec 2006, 19:25
I pointed this thread out to my friend Ahmed.... He is aghast that the UK authorities now expect all decisions to be based upon technical/economic merit.....

He really hopes that the Chinese dont think the same way........

Mutt...

slim_slag
15th Dec 2006, 19:47
G-CPTN, if it all had happened prior to 2001 then a few 'without prejudice' conversations between the parties would have had the hounds called off.

One suspects the cops were onto something but needed time to build a case. Not surprising when they have to persuade Swiss judges to open accounts.

Never mind. Next time I get a speeding ticket I am sure a letter to my MP will have the charges dropped.

Not.

Just another law the current lot passed then later found to be inconvenient so they decided to ignore it.

WG774
15th Dec 2006, 20:02
If you viewed Channel 4 news yesterday, you would have seen C4 open the story with an aerial shot of a Mirage 2000... You don't have to be an ace anorak to discern between a Eurofighter and a Mirage, do you?

So that's why the investigation was called off - the SFO couldn't decide which type of aircraft the Saudis were being bribed to buy. Maybe they should have investigated the French.

bjcc
15th Dec 2006, 20:07
G-CPTN

Thread drift? No, not at all, just the same principle as you have applied, in your comments. The prospects of proving an offence before a court (or a discipline board) are nil, but the investigation continues. I think in particular of the 'farting' police officer a few years ago. It was fully investigated, although there was no evidence of anything other than a natural bodily function.

Your analogy to the CPS is flawed, the CPS act of the result of a full investigation that has been completed, and all the evidence considered. NOT abandoned half way through, as this has been.

A way round it MAY have been that if theese bribes were alledged to have been paid in Saudi, then fine, hand it to the Saudi Police. If they decide, off thier own back, or through pressure from thier Goverment, to not bother, then so be it. That way, the resposbility lays with those that would be considered the 'victims' of this type of offence, not with us.

I doubt this dicision is bent, but it really does look like it is, how does that help our reputation?

tony draper
15th Dec 2006, 20:40
I believe the bribe concerned Maggies lot and the Saudies and the Aircraft was the Tornado and it occured twenty years ago, not the Typhoon,that will involve different bribes
One could be wrong of course.
:rolleyes:

G-CPTN
15th Dec 2006, 21:17
You are RIGHT, Father Drapes (the 'young' man said). That is what it is all about. The above-mentioned Mr Aitken was but a player in the Defence Department. On April 10, 1995, The Guardian carried a front-page report on Aitken's dealings with leading Saudis.
The joint Guardian/Granada investigation indicated an arms deal scam involving Aitken's friend and business partner, the Lebanese businessman Mohammed Said Ayas, a close associate of Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia.
Aitken's wife and three daughters turned up to support him when he was sentenced. The daughters included a previously unacknowledged daughter by Soraya Khashoggi, ex-wife of arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. On DNA testing at the age of 18, she had turned out to be Aitken's, though Mr Khashoggi had previously accepted her as his own.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/aitken/Story/0,,208518,00.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/aitken/Story/0,,326543,00.html
The current round of 'negotiations' are yet to get down to the nitty gritty, yet the fear of having the situation blown open has un-nerved the would-be recipients (of the aircraft).

Flying Lawyer
17th Dec 2006, 11:13
bjcc
FL ................ would it not have been better to let the investigation make reach that conclution?
I thought it was clear from "I think it was 100% the correct decision" that I do not think it would have been better to let the investigation continue.
I also agree with what G-CPTN said in response to bjcc's question (post #8.)



The way this has been abandoned will, without any doubt cause a large number of people to belive that the decision is bent, irrespective of the true facts.
No doubt some will, but I suspect the overwhelming majority of people (if they form any view at all) couldn't care less whether or not a few £million was paid in 'sweeteners' to obtain contracts which made £billions for this country from the mid 80s onwards and saved/created thousands of jobs.
I also suspect they'll be pleased the pending new contract hasn't been jeopardised by raking over old matters they regard as unimportant.



I also agree with G-CPTN's comments re thread drift into investigations into alleged misconduct of policemen.


FL

High Wing Drifter
17th Dec 2006, 11:33
FL,

I suspect the overwhelming majority of people (if they form any view at all) couldn't care less whether or not a few £million was paid in 'sweeteners' to obtain contracts which made £billions for this country
Although I think that view is a little simplistic is the best us plebs have as information.

What troubles me is that these laws are meant to level the playing field within the UK, but when such laws exist for all except those involved in multi-billion £ deals in a seemingly ad-hoc manner, the playing field is far from level...quite the reverse in fact. Would we better off without these laws? What would commerce in the UK be like? I think it would be as disabled and stagnant as Italy.

FWIW, if Lockheed Martin were involved in bungs, the US authorities would have no problems prosecuting and jailing the offending management. On the UK side you wouldn't touch the sides on the way out. I suspect the US has more leverage in these matters and bungs are not so pivotal.

We need the law, but perhaps there should be some means where an organisation can register the need for such practices so it is transparent to the authorities if not to the public?

eal401
18th Dec 2006, 06:38
What I still fail to understand is why BAE Systems has been the focus of investigation.

All contracts with Saudi are "government to government" is ifany slush fund existed, it did so with the full approval of the UK government at that time. Yet the SFO did not pick up anyone in government?

Personally, I think the whole thing should have been called "The SFO Investigation, as sponsored by Guardian Newspapers" as it all seemed driven by someone with a big chip on their shoulder about BAE, which very much includes the namby-pamby do-gooders at the Grauinad. You can tell now that their editors are disgusted at the failure to further destroy British industry and increase unemployment in the North West.

GOLF_BRAVO_ZULU
18th Dec 2006, 13:41
I also think that it was a plot by old fashioned Socialists and Liberals to wreck the British "arms industries". They would much rather Warton was turned over to making pace-makers and high tech wheel chairs.

As I posted in another place, it would have been better if the SFO had been told to put up or shut up with a definite kill date. Instead they have ended it on a note of high drama, shrouded in "no smoke without fire" and "whitewash" accusations. Whether or not BAE Sys will feel the need to throw money and effort at defending their reputation is up to them; but is it worth the aggravation?

It's a big hard hairy world out there and, until there are international laws and conventions on this, "commissions" and "good will gestures" will continue outside our neat Western ideals. I'm sure the Arabs see our way as a totally alien culture and are offended by our insinuation that their customs are corrupt.

We won't have heard the last of this because the Media is like a dog with a bone.