SFO kicks BAE corruption charges upstairs
(this is an extract from an article you can find at the bottom of the piece)
As a result, BAE has been reluctant to go further than its admission last year that it "has not always met the highest ethical standards".
Following the apparent breakdown of bargaining between the SFO and BAE, the government must now decide whether to take action in the courts. In theory this is a decision for the attorney general, Baroness Scotland, currently in the pillory for hiring an illegal immigrant as domestic staff.
In reality of course, any such decision will be made by the Prime Minister, as decisions involving BAE generally are. Famously, high court judges described Tony Blair’s decision to quash a long-running SFO probe into BAE’s activities in Saudi Arabia as "abject surrender". Blair had been visited at No 10 Downing Street by Prince Bandar prior to ordering the investigation dropped on spurious "national security" grounds – Prince Bandar being, as the judges noted, allegedly up to his neck in the case as one of those who had received huge sums from BAE.
The judges in that case also stated that the British government – of both parties down the years – was "in reality the defendant", rather than BAE. That’s because of the fact that most of the shady deals BAE has made were, on paper, made for it by the government. Many of the huge wedges of cash received by Prince Bandar and others had actually moved through UK government accounts.
This happened owing to the existence of a bureau within the Ministry of Defence called DESO, the Defence Export Services Organisation. It was taxpayer funded and able to call on military personnel, but was controlled and partly staffed by seconded Brit armsbiz executives.http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/01/sfo_last_gasp_vs_bae/