Jack Straw, Anti-Corruption Champion 3

This is particularly amusing. The British governemt has responded to my exposure of their attempts to thwart anti-corruption investigations in Ghana. They could not bring themselves to use my name, and sought to denigrate the article as anonymous internet comment. (In fact it was written for Ghana’s Insight newspaper which has been conducting a series of investigations into this matter).


This is the official British government statement:

Recent allegations circulated on the internet assert that the UK Government is trying to stop Ghanaian anti-corruption investigations. This is demonstrably false and deliberately misleading.


It then details the only anti-corruption abroad prosecution ever brought against a British company, the Mabey and Johnson case (M and J actually did a lot of good in Ghana, but that’s a long and different story).

But then comes the real jaw dropper:

The British Government’s opposition to bribery and corruption is unequivocal: The Foreign Bribery Strategy, launched by Anti-Corruption Champion Jack Straw on 19 January 2010, builds on the government’s anti-corruption work over the past three years and aims to help the UK strengthen its reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. And the new Bribery Bill, making its way through Parliament at present, signals a concerted effort to make the UK a leader in international anti-corruption efforts.

Have these people no shame? Jack Sraw anti-corruption champion? The MP for BAE? The man who has spent 13 years in government fighting for the interests of BAE and shielding them from successive investigations and prosecutions for corruption?





The man who broke anti-treating laws in his own election?


Jack Straw is a the epitome of the corrupt New Labour machine politician. Now for some news from genuine anti-corruption champions:

As part of its continuing efforts to press the UK government to stop

turning a blind eye to the corrupt activities of British corporations

abroad, The Corner House this week joined Campaign Against Arms Trade

(CAAT) to request a judicial review of a recent controversial plea

bargain that would let arms manufacturer BAE Systems off the hook for

alleged bribery in several European and African countries.

Nicholas Hildyard, for The Corner House, said of the decision by the

UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to allow the deal:

‘Plea bargains should only ever be entertained when companies have

really come clean. BAE has not. Once again, an SFO decision has

reinforced the UK’s reputation for letting big companies get away with


He added:

‘The SFO’s blatant disregard for the rule of law is damaging lives and

democracy abroad. We are undertaking this action in solidarity with all

those affected.’

Lawyers acting on behalf of The Corner House and CAAT wrote to the SFO

Director on Friday 12 February to signal their intention to request the

judicial review of the SFO-BAE settlement.

Under the SFO settlement, announced on 5 February 2010, BAE would plead

guilty to minor charges of ‘accounting irregularities’ in its 1999 sale

of a radar system to Tanzania for which the SFO proposed it should pay

penalties of 30 million pounds sterling. The SFO would not bring charges

relating to alleged bribery and corruption in BAE’s arms deals elsewhere.

The basis for the legal challenge is that, in reaching this settlement,

the SFO failed properly to apply prosecution guidance (including its own

guidance). In particular, the plea agreement fails to reflect the

seriousness and extent of BAE’s alleged offending, which includes

corruption and bribery, and to provide the court with adequate

sentencing powers.

The groups also argue that the SFO has unlawfully concluded that factors

weighing against prosecuting outweigh those in favour.

Kaye Stearman, CAAT’s spokesperson, says: ‘It is in the public interest

that BAE should not be let off the hook.’

The groups’ lawyers also requested that the Serious Fraud Office delay

applying for court approval of its settlement with BAE Systems. If it

does not do so, the two groups will seek an injunction against the court


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3 thoughts on “Jack Straw, Anti-Corruption Champion

  • Jon

    What I struggle with is how the many intelligent people who put together this FCO press release don’t have sufficiently discomfiting concerns – say over Straw’s excusing of BAE corruption – to sweep the story under the carpet. Do press officers feel that they are lying, but that it is for a greater good, or do they really believe that Anti-Corruption matters are safe in Straw’s hands?

    Truly strange times…

  • Nick Hildyard

    By way of an update, Lawyers acting for Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House today lodged papers at the High Court asking for an injunction to delay the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) from seeking court approval for its controversial plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems pending the outcome of a Judicial Review. They lodged papers requesting the Judicial Review at the same time. For more see: http://www.thecornerhouse.org.uk/

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