Saturday, 6 February 2010

Is the £286m BAE settlement a bad outcome for truth?

I initially cheered when BAE Systems agreed to hand over £286m in fines to the US and UK following investigations of bribary - see the story on the BBC website. What isn't clear though is the what exactly happened and what they are actually guilty of.

According the BBC's report, "The firm said the pleas did not relate to accusations of corruption or bribery but that it "regretted" shortcomings.". Hmmm, £286m handed over for shortcommings? Channel 4 News put it another way: "But the company stressed it had not been found guilty of any serious corruption or bribery charges. What it has admitted to are more minor corporate misdemeanour charges."

We are unlikely to know what really happened and the extent of their bribery, sadly. I have just signed this petition on the CAAT website and recommend that others do too.

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