Landmark high court ruling says decision to drop Saudi-BAE inquiry was unlawful

Pressure was mounting last night on the government to allow the reopening of the criminal investigation into secret payments by arms company BAE to Saudi Arabia following a high court judgment that made clear the inquiry should never have been dropped.Ministers have to decide in the next two weeks over what to do about the ruling from Lord Justice Moses, who with Lord Justice Sullivan, delivered a damning verdict on the behaviour of the former prime minister, Tony Blair, and his government in forcing a halt to the long-running investigation.

The judges rejected claims that the inquiry had to be closed down for security reasons because “lives were at risk”, and said the success of Saudi blackmail attempts had been unlawful. The judgment named Saudi Prince Bandar as the man behind what they characterised as an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

The judges said: “We fear for the reputation of the administration of justice if it can be perverted by a threat … No one, whether within this country or outside, is entitled to interfere with the course of our justice. The rule of law is nothing if it fails to constrain overweening power.”

The court said that the Saudis should have been made to understand “the enormity of the interference with the UK’s sovereignty, when a foreign power seeks to interfere with the internal administration of the criminal law. It is not difficult to imagine what they would think if we attempted to interfere with their criminal justice system”.

The high court will reconvene in a fortnight to decide what remedy to award the two groups of anti-corruption campaigners who brought the judicial review of the Serious Fraud Office decision to end the inquiry.


Q: How Much is British Justice Worth? A: At Least £6 billion


1 Response to “Landmark high court ruling says decision to drop Saudi-BAE inquiry was unlawful”

  1. 1 A Muslim pub and other news « The Daily Terror Trackback on April 11, 2008 at 10:24 pm

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