British defence giant may face new corruption chargesOctober 1st, 2009 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS
London, Oct 1 (DPA) British defence firm BAE Systems could face corruption charges over allegations it spent millions in bribes to obtain lucrative foreign arms deals, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in London confirmed Thursday.
The allegations refer to deals made with countries such as Tanzania, the Czech Republic, Romania and South Africa, among others.
The case put together by the SFO will now go to the attorney general for a decision on whether to prosecute. Earlier attempts at a possible fine in return for plea bargain appear to have collapsed, it was reported.
“BAE Systems has at all times acted responsibly in its dealings with the SFO, taking into account the interests of its shareholders and employees and the legal advice it has received,” the firm said in a statement.
An earlier, separate investigation into BAE’s dealing with Saudi Arabia was dropped in 2007, after reports that the country had threatened to halt security cooperation if details emerged in court over a massive 1980s arms deal, signed under then prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
BAE is one of Britain’s largest manufacturing firms, employing more than 100,000 workers.
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Tags: 1980s, allegations, attempts, bae systems, bribes, corruption charges, czech republic, defence firm, dpa, giant, legal advice, margaret thatcher, plea bargain, prime minister, saudi arabia, security cooperation, serious fraud office, sfo, shareholders, south africa