16 December, 2006

al-Yamamah - tantrum time

Now that the government, or at least the Attorney General, has, for once, done something right and halted the al-Yamamah investigation, a lot of toys are being thrown about in various prams.

The head of the Serious Fraud Office is not happy at being warned by the Foreign Office that "...he was pissing off the Saudis big time" (Guardian). Yet, the Times says, the SFO inquiry is continuing as far as it affects countries other than Saudi Arabia. I rather think that unless he wants early retirement, the head of the SFO had also better stop pissing off his boss, the Attorney General, even small time.

From yet another Guardian story, we learn that suspects, some the usual, others rather more exotic, are intent on trying nanny's patience:

The Campaign against the Arms Trade and the Corner House, a social and environmental justice group, believe the grounds for the decision - made after the prime minister warned it was against Britain's security and foreign policy interests - could be subject to judicial review. David Pannick QC has been hired.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development also signalled that it would launch its own investigation. Britain is a signatory to the 30-nation grouping's anti-bribery convention.
The Daily Telegraph also picks up on the OPEC angle. I wish I could be present when OPEC tries to question any Saudi officials. And as long as there is a House of Lords exercising judicial supervision, the day has not yet come when a British government has to worry about more than relatively minor political embarrassment from even an hostile judicial review on a matter involving national security. Mr Blair, please note how useful the Lords can be to you.

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