Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Arms dealer win the day

As you may have heard in the news today, the Government has won its
appeal against the High Court ruling that it acted unlawfully by
halting the Serious Fraud Office investigation into BAE's Saudi arms
deals.

CAAT believes that the ruling highlights a gap in the law which
enables arms dealers with friends in high places to avoid being
investigated for bribery and corruption. Bowing to pressure from BAE
and its friends, the Government has used the national security
argument to protect the profits of a company that continues to sell
arms to oppressive regimes.

The public response to the case, as well as considerable coverage in
the media, has shown that public opinion is not on the Government's
side. 125 MPs from all the main parties, along with over 130 NGOs
from around the world, opposed the Government's decision. No longer
as susceptible to exaggerated claims about the number of jobs
dependent on Saudi arms deals, the public has become aware of the
Government's continued subservience to BAE. This has placed CAAT and
our allies in a considerably stronger position as we continue to
tackle the negative effects of arms companies on democracy, justice
and human rights.

Following the initial ruling by the High Court in April, the
Government introduced the Constitutional Renewal Bill, provisions of
which would prevent parliament or the courts questioning decisions
based on 'national security'. CAAT and The Corner House have been
monitoring progress of the Bill, which is clearly a response to our
judicial review against the Government. The Committee report on the
first draft of this Bill is due to be announced tomorrow . You can
keep up with the latest campaign actions against this Bill by
visiting our website http://www.caat.org.uk/actnow.php .

We have been overwhelmed by the many messages of support we have
received throughout this case and would not have been able to mount
this legal challenge without our supporters. Our victory in the High
Court earlier this year was testament to the effectiveness of a
strong campaign and CAAT wouldn't be what it is without you!

This case has enabled us to create a wider awareness of arms trade
issues and we need your continued support to enable us to continue
our campaign, so please do what you can to help by making a donation,
signing our petitions and postcards or becoming involved in our local
campaigns. Your contribution gives us the voice we need to achieve
our goal of ending the international arms trade.

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