What happened to good governance?


JF-Expert Member
Feb 11, 2007
UK is one of the countries that is emphasizing about the importance of good governance in African countries. In my opinion good governance includes fighting corruption at any level in African countries. So why now Labour and Conservative parties they are trying their level best to stop this investigation? is this due the fact that people in management positions within BAE were caught with their underpants down doing unlawful transactions?

Tories join Brown in bid to block fraud investigations
Conservatives back PM in seeking power to halt BAE-style corruption inquiries

David Hencke, Westminster correspondent
The Guardian,
Saturday April 12 2008

Gordon Brown yesterday won Conservative backing for a move that would allow the government to block future criminal investigations such as the corruption case against the arms company BAE Systems.

Despite scathing criticism in the high court on Thursday, the Tories have chosen to support Downing Street in facing down critics who are keen for the BAE investigation to be reopened.

Brown is said by Downing Street to have been totally behind Tony Blair in pressing Robert Wardle, the director of the Serious Fraud Office, to drop the investigation into secret payments by the arms company to Saudi Arabia. In Thursday's judgment, the high court rejected claims that the inquiry had had to be closed down for security reasons because "lives were at risk" if Britain no longer received intelligence on national security from Saudi Arabia.

Officially Downing Street said the initial response to the court judgment would be a matter for the Serious Fraud Office. But a No 10 spokesman said yesterday that it would still be a "hands-on" operation, implying that the prime minister might well block any move for a further investigation.

Such a decision would reignite criticism from some Labour backbenchers and the Liberal Democrats who have been keen for the full investigation. And it would fly in the face of the stinging rebuke from Lord Justice Moses, who with Lord Justice Sullivan attacked the government's interference as unlawful.

In their ruling, the judges said: "We fear for the reputation of the administration of justice if it can be perverted by a threat ... No one, whether within this country or outside, is entitled to interfere with the course of our justice. The rule of law is nothing if it fails to constrain overweening power."

Yesterday the shadow attorney general, Dominic Gieve, said: "We believe the existing system, by which the attorney is responsible for the public interest in deciding whether or not a prosecution should be discontinued because of national security issues, should continue. The attorney is accountable to parliament for her actions and her decision can be challenged in the courts if made unreasonably or capriciously."

This means he will be backing in principle the constitutional renewal bill which gives Lady Scotland, the attorney general, the right to block inquiries that threaten the national interest, thereby ensuring the government can get the measure through the Commons this year.

Any row between ministers and the Conservatives is likely to focus on whether the new provision is too inflexible. The Tories might force the government to amend this provision.

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, wrote to Brown yesterday challenging him to drop the new powers. "On taking office last year ... You recognised that the position of the attorney general had become so sullied by the BAE issue, questions over the legality of the Iraq war and the cash-for-honours inquiry, that it had to be reformed. Indeed, your Governance of Britain white paper pledged to 'renew the role of the attorney general to ensure that the office retains the public's confidence'. This sentiment is flatly contradicted by your recent proposals in the draft constitutional renewal bill. These proposals will give the attorney general effective carte blanche in future to block or quash any investigations or prosecutions under the pretext of 'national security'.

"Given that under these draft rules there would be no recourse to judicial review of such decisions, do you not see that this will be seen by the public as a step backward, not forward?"
Brown has to regain our trust after the BAE judgmentLeader The

Sunday April 13 2008

When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, he promised to be guided by his 'moral compass'. But exercising power often involves choosing not between polar opposites of right and wrong, but between greater and lesser evils.

What, for example, should a Prime Minister do when revelations due to be made in a high-profile court case risk compromising national security. Intervening would threaten judicial independence and violate constitutional principle, but failing to act could cost lives.

It is in those terms that Tony Blair presented his decision in 2006, along with then Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, to order the Serious Fraud Office to abandon its investigation of alleged corruption in a multi-billion-pound arms deal between Saudi Arabia and BAE Systems. The Saudi royal family had made clear that continuing the investigation would jeopardise intelligence co-operation, which could, in turn increase the risk of a terror attack on British soil. Mr Blair acquiesced.

But that decision, interpreted by Mr Blair as expediency for the greater good of the nation, was last week interpreted by the High Court as capitulation to blackmail, perversion of justice at the whim of a foreign state and a symptom of overweening executive power.

The High Court's version is more convincing than Mr Blair's. There is no evidence that Downing Street agonised over its decision or tried to stand up for judicial sovereignty. Instead, the government leapt on 'national security' as a pretext to kill off an inquiry that threatened bothersome diplomatic, political and economic consequences.

Would pressing ahead with the inquiry really have put Britain at risk? That we cannot know. Assurances from Mr Blair based on secret intelligence and legal validations from Lord Goldsmith are currencies devalued beyond use by the Iraq war. But we can say with some confidence that a state which threatens British lives so that it can preserve the financial affairs of its repressive monarchy should not be deemed a stalwart ally against terrorism.

Mr Brown has indicated, through a spokesman, that he supported Mr Blair's 2006 decision and that he will continue to oppose any investigation of alleged corruption in the Saudi-BAE deal. Meanwhile, the government has drafted legislation to enshrine in law the Attorney General's right to stop criminal proceedings on grounds of 'national security', while surrendering the right to meddle in all other cases. In other words, the government will relinquish a power it never used and strengthen one it has clearly demonstrated it can abuse.

It is possible to conceive of rare situations when threats to national security require the use of extraordinary executive power over the judiciary. If we are to trust a Prime Minister to exercise that power, we must have confidence in his 'moral compass'. Mr Brown assures us he has one, but his stalwart adherence to Tony Blair's view of the BAE-Saudi case suggests he is not navigating by it.

Rules of Labour party in UK Enquiries are almost similar to those of CCM in Tanzania:

1. Appoint a peer of the realm who is 'a safe pair of hands'.

2. Lie your tits off, safe in the knowledge that your man is in the chair.

3. Get exonerated. Witnesses critical to the enquiry may have been terminated with extreme prejudice by this time; they can cop the blame.

4. Publish report.

5. Tell the electorate it's time to move on.

6. Trebles all round!

and from the judgement:

No one suggested to those uttering the threat that it was futile, that the United Kingdom's system of democracy forbad presure being exerted on an independent prosecutor whether by the domestic executive or by anyone else; no-one even hinted that the courts would strive to protect the rule of law...

this can be interpreted as: the British govt just bellied up like a five dollar whore

nuff said
UK under pressure to probe radar company

Dar es Salaam

THE British government is under pressure to re-open a corruption investigation against the UK's leading arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, over a 43 billion pounds sterling ($85bn) contract to provide Saudi Arabia with fighter jets and other military equipment.

The same company on the spotlight over the 1985 deal with Riyadh sold a controversial 28 million pounds (approx. 70bn/-) military radar system to the Tanzanian government in 2002 -- a transaction currently being probed by both local and British corruption fighters.

In London, calls were made yesterday for a full public inquiry after the British High Court ruled this week that the UK government and Serious Fraud Office ''unlawfully submitted'' to threats that there could be another terrorist attack in Britain unless they dropped bribery investigations involving BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia.

Two senior UK judges on Thursday condemned the British government's ''abject surrender'' to ''blatant threats'' that Saudi co-operation in the fight against terror would end unless the probe into corruption was halted.

The judges said: ''We fear for the reputation of the administration of justice if it can be perverted by a threat.''

They warned that any similar future unlawful threats to the rule of law must be resisted by government or the courts would again intervene.

Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Sullivan declared: ''No one, whether within this country or outside, is entitled to interfere with the course of our justice.''

The ruling was a victory for anti-bribery campaigners Corner House and the Campaign Against Arms Trade, which had argued that the Serious Fraud Office decision to stop the investigation was tainted by government concerns about trade with Saudi Arabia and diplomatic considerations.

They accused the British authorities of giving in to blackmail and said the decision to drop the probe was illegal under the OECD's anti-bribery convention.

Giving their decision, the judges said the man behind the threats was Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council and son of the crown prince.

He has been the subject of accusations that he took more than �1bn in payments from BAE.

The Serious Fraud Office had launched an investigation into BAE's �43bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia in 1985.

But Tony Blair, prime minister at the time, said the Saudis had privately threatened to cut intelligence co-operation with Britain unless the inquiry was stopped.

In December 2006, then attorney general Lord Goldsmith announced the investigation into the arms company was to be discontinued, but it was Serious Fraud Office director Robert Wardle who took the decision.

Following the landmark ruling, UK government ministers are now under growing pressure to reopen investigations against BAE Systems.

In Tanzania, at least one senior cabinet minister is currently being investigated by local and British detectives over the dubious 2002 radar deal between former President Benjamin Mkapa's government and BAE Systems.

Investigations by THISDAY have revealed that the minister in question (name withheld for now) was searched at his Dar es Salaam office and residence about a fortnight ago.

Authorities have already blocked access to a number of local and international bank accounts held by the politician.

The 'crooked' minister is alleged to have received millions of US dollars in bribes from controversial transactions including the military radar and air traffic control system deal.

According to the sources, the minister's personal bank accounts along with the accounts of some close family members - including his children - have all been frozen as the investigations continue.

British detectives investigating the 28 million pounds sterling (approx. 70bn/-) radar scandal have traced some of the $12m (approx. 15bn/-) illegal kickbacks paid to fugitive businessman Shailesh Vithlani to a personal bank account owned by the minister abroad.

BAE Systems is understood to have secretly paid the $12m to Vithlani's own Swiss bank account. The money is alleged to have been used to pay what amounted to bribes to senior Tanzanian public officials to approve the radar deal in 2002.

The minister now said to be under increasingly-intense investigation, held a high-level position in the third phase government of ex-president Benjamin Mkapa from 1995 to 2005, and is currently also serving as a senior cabinet member in President Jakaya Kikwete's fourth phase administration.

He is believed to have played a key role in a number of controversial government contracts in various key sectors (including energy and minerals, to name a few) during the Mkapa administration.

But contrary to widespread public expectations, he somehow managed to survive the comprehensive cabinet reshuffle conducted by President Kikwete back in February.

Both Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) in Tanzania have been investigating the radar deal, with British detectives frequently flying to the country to link up with their local counterparts in questioning some suspects.

Rationale ya serikali ya UK ni kuwa, kama tusipowalamba mafala hawa Mmarekani au Mfaransa taawalamba, kwa hiyo forget morals na good governance, tuwalambe vizuri halafu kesho keshokutwa tutawapa msaada wa robo ya hicho tulichowalamba tutaonekana benevolent kichizi.

And then they tell you the market is fair if not random, the world is flat and all that Adam Smith jazz!

I wish there were some 10 Claire Shorts in the Blair cabinet.
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