In Britain today, the High Court has stood up for the rule of law. The court issued a scathing indictment against the government for its refusal to cooperate with an investigation into alleged bribery in a BAE Systems-Saudi Arabia arms deal. The ruling is a clear victory for Corner House and the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT). The anti-bribery campaigners had argued that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) decision to stop the investigation was influenced by Blair government concerns about diplomacy and trade with Saudi Arabia.
The groups accused British authorities of caving in to blackmail. They said former Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to drop the probe was illegal under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD's) Anti-Bribery Convention.
In issuing their decision, the judges said the man behind the threats was Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council and son of the crown prince. US President George W. Bush refers to Bandar as "Bandar Bush," so close are the Bush family's political ties with the Saudi royal family.