For the record

This site was set up to detail the judicial review of the decision to end the SFO investigation into BAE-Saudi arms deals.

Now the judicial review has finished, the site will be left online for the record. It is frozen as of February 2009.

For further information about corruption, visit The Corner House, or about BAE and the UK Government's arms dealing, visit CAAT.


Corruption in the arms trade

The arms trade is the most corrupt legal international trade in the world. The anti-corruption organisation Transparency International has estimated that the official arms trade accounts for 50% of all corrupt international transactions and that a conservative estimate of the level of arms deal commissions (the means by which bribes are generally made) is around 10% of the value of contracts.

Corruption is not just an add-on to the trade: it is central to it. Corruption gives decision makers an incentive to purchase weapons and thereby increases spending on arms. Arms deals provide the ideal conditions in which bribery can flourish: individual deals can be extremely large; it is a buyers' market; prices aren't easily compared because each contract has its own special requirements; and, vitally, they are cloaked in secrecy under the rhetoric of ‘national security’ (see Parallel Markets: Corruption in the International Arms Trade [pdf]).

Corruption is not a victimless crime. It hits the poorest people hardest and undermines economic development, it distorts markets, damaging trade and investment, and it has profound implications for national security.