back to article UK gov: Feds will get BAE bribe files when hell freezes over

The UK government has refused to say when (or if) it might hand over its files on alleged corrupt payments by British-headquartered arms behemoth BAE Systems to Saudi royalty. The US Justice department formally requested the information six months ago. The files in question are mainly those held by the UK's Serious Fraud …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Is it too much to hope ...

    ... despite the nature of the request, that this is the start of uk.plc having some backbone, and not asking "how high" when the merkins tell us to jump ?

    No ? Thought so.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    So what?

    If it was the other way around, the Americans would happily ignore law, treaty and courtesy citing 'national security', 'the war on terror' or 'we feel like it' as sufficient justification for not complying.

    With my gov't would occassionally tell them to stuff it...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Lost in the post??

    "We sent them weeks ago" hope there was no sensitive data in there..

  4. William Donelson

    USA corrupt contractors versus UK corrupt contractors

    The ONLY reason the US cares is because some lobbyist for some US military manufacturer is trying to screw up the UK military business.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Permission ?

    The CIA and NSA will have the files required in a New York minute... they will then be mysteriously leaked...

  6. Anonymous Coward

    A fair exchange

    Perhaps we the British government are asking for a fair exchange - they will give the US the SFO files when the US military starts co-operating with British coroners over "friendly fire" incidents.

    What goes around comes around

  7. PT

    Bravo Lord West

    Excellent. It's about time somebody said no to Washington.

  8. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Dead heads waking up?

    You couldn't make it up, could you? :-0

    Now if the plonkers in No 10 and Threadneedle Street could find their balls, Uncle Sam might get the message. They could certainly do with a new one.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Flamin' Nora! I agree with the government?

    About time we stood up to their double standards and hypocrisy!

    Perhaps now they'll get back to torturing and killing foreign civilians in their War of Terror and leave us alone for a bit.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    I'd hope

    that these documents were being shredded and burnt as we speak.

    As much as sandal wearnig hippies like to go lalalalalala BAE is a huge employer and is of critical importance to the UK of course I know the aformentioned sandle wearing hippies wont be happy until we're all living in mud huts but.

    To think that other nations don't grease the wheels of foreign governments is to think that the moon is made of cheese.

    Infact we should get rid of a few of our crap government departments and replace them with foreign government greasing departments.

  11. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Double standards...?

    So they're not willing to hand over documents that might reveal alleged corruption on the part BAE to the US authorities, yet they were falling over themselves to hand over everything they had on the Nat West three including the guys themselves...?

  12. Schultz
    Thumb Up

    Great story...

    Princes, Barons, Lords, it must be great to live in the UK.

    Our stories from the continent (Siemens, Airbus, etc.) will just never sound this nice, no matter how much money is involved.

  13. Hollerith

    no one wants to show an arm sticky to the elbow

    Arms manufacturers are widely known to be in pretty much the most corrupt business on earth. They are woven so closely into their various Governments that their Government officials are merely pimps and shills for the arms traders withintheir borders.

    Arms trading with the many corrupt oligarchies, tyrannies and despots around the world, including Saudi Arabia is the most seethingly corrupt part of this whole noxious slime-pit.

    The UK Government, by shutting down any investigation, made by its actions a public confession to the fact that they are so far up the whazoo of the arms traders that any molecule of truth would destroy them.

    You would think that the current US Administration would appreciate the UK Government's position here, being so closely acquainted with utter lies and corruption themselves, and not press the Home Office to the point of embarassment.

    I guess there is no honour amongst sleazes.

  14. johnB

    U turn ?

    So now it's Admiral East ?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lord Haw-haw

    So here we have Lord Muddy de Waters vs. Baron Stone-Henge. Just like the good old days - but without the rational discussion the other place could generate in Major Ball's day. Haw hum.

    Still, the USA has just iterated its right to kidnap anybody, anytime, any place. All it needs do is find an airplane big enough to render the lot of them.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    don't hold your breath. they _really_ don't give a toot:

    [you bet your ass i'm posting this anonymously!]

  17. John A Blackley

    The reason why

    "My Lords, the question has been raised as to why the request - from those dreadful American chappies - for information on the wholly spurious and malicious investigation into BAE has been delayed for six months.

    Well, My Lords, this is a very complex case. Those awful, uncultured colonial chappies appear to believe that simply asking for sensitive, possibly national-security-related information will get them a result. Not so, my Lords. Our proud nation and our proud weapons-manufacturing institutions - in which many here present are majr shareholders - must be given every protection from the prying eyes of foreign mischief-makers.

    Further, our allies - those noble desert chieftains who are also major shareholders in our weapons-manufacturing, etc., etc.. - must also be protected from scurrilous and unwarranted intrusion in their entirely legitimate affairs (in which many here present are majr shareholders.)

    What's that, my Lords? Difference between this and the Natwest Three? Common rabble, my Lords. Not one of 'em a major shareholder in anything."

  18. Claire Rand


    presumably given the recent actions of the US that it considers kidnapping preferable to extradition. and assumes US law applies world wide its not too surprising these files won't be released...

    but then given it has been formally decided in the UK there are no charges to answer there is obviously no case to answer...

    as a result the US can go walkies.

    the comment about the US cooperating with 'friendly fire' investigations could well be stated, and in a forum where the US is represented, in public.

    you never know they may decide information does need to flow both ways after all. if $bigCorp wants a massive contract by screwing the UK competitors I can't see the rights of a few US service people getting int he way of $BigMoney

  19. Paul Lee

    One rule for one and one for another

    Haven't there been cases where UK Authorities have asked the US for information and help in their prosecutions, only to be turned down or ignored? And yet when the US ask for information .....?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Bad information

    Yes and when the UK was asked for information they gave crap information that got people killed/tortured possibly they should keep this stuff to themselves. As for BAE greasing Saudi's so what thats how most of this business works what difference does it make.

  21. heystoopid
    Black Helicopters


    Hmm , given how active the assorted US spy agencies are and how lax most government employees are in regard to computer security I would guesstimate a 99.985% probability they already had the files lifted as fast as the investigation proceeded !

    Or as one would say how soon we forget about the infamous Cambridge Graduate Spy Ring and Sir Anthony who? , so the odds on are the US also had/have a current equivalent still operating !

  22. Roger Moore

    The real reason... is taking so long is they put the files in the internal mail to send to the foreign office but all they received were a couple of CDs.

  23. Dave
    Black Helicopters

    The Correct Legal Response...

    Arkle v Pressdram, anyone?

  24. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Not refused request?

    "The Home Secretary has not refused this. She is in the process of giving this request the detailed consideration that it requires... "

    Isn't the latter part of that diplomatic-speak for "get stuffed" anyway?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    “When hell freezes over...”

    /pedant mode

    Nowthen, I know this is a well-worn phrase, but Dante’s Inferno states emphatically that the lowest bowge of hell is frozen over – reserved for traitors and El Reg hacks. And as documentary evidence this is as good as any other. So our patriotic govmint can presumably use this to spin their way out of any ensuing kerfuffle.

    The stuff is winging its way across the Atlantic as we speak.

  26. Slaine

    from the other side of the fence

    Anyone arriving, unannounced, in this country is offered a free translation service and access to free health, accomdation and funds. WTF do we need "defence" for?

  27. Edward Rose

    Hell has frozen over...

    I thought Hell froze over when Sun started shifting AIX, or was it IBM shifting Solaris? I read the story right here.

    As proof I demand that the Register hand over all documents relating to that article, and in return anything that you ask for from me will somehow just not exist.

    Anywho, BAE supplied Saudi with Jets, they supplied us with money. That's business. Even if we supplied them with some money too, isn't that just a refund? Standard business practice as the jets were probably sub standard (like most modern engineering).

    It's a bit like MS giving software away for free to stop people using any competitors stuff, erm I mean, as a kind incentive to loyal users, that's right, it's not anti-competitive it's just good kind honest business practice.

  28. Guy
    Thumb Up

    They are turning into Ents

    Could be just me, but wasn't it Ents that had the ethos of "if its worth saying, its worth taking a long time saying it" so conversely if its worth taking your time over it, its worth taking a very long time over it!! roll on the next millenium

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Slaine

    Re from the other side of the fence

    Absolutely and completely agree!!

    You got that one right.

  30. Simon Ball


    Given that there is essentially no distinction between the personal finances of the Saudi royal family and the finances of the Saudi Arabian government, I never understood how bribery was actually possible.

    You can't have a case of public funds being diverted via the contract to the pockets of government officials when public funds and private pockets are the same thing. It's really just a transfer from one part of the Saudi royal famly to another.

  31. LittleTyke


    Why doesn't the State Department just get someone to show Brown the photos?

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