BAE's bosses have faced a day of public criticism both inside and outside their AGM, which took place today in central London. A demonstration outside the meeting called for the reopening of a Serious Fraud Office inquiry into BAE's arms deals with Saudi Arabia.
Inside, campaigning shareholders donned judges' wigs to show that the British public are ready to judge BAE, even though the Government has suspended the inquiry. Members of BAE's board struggled to cope with a string of questions about bribery, corruption and the damage to the UK's international reputation.
CAAT spokesperson Symon Hill said:
"BAE's influence over ministers has no place in a democracy. Today people from all walks of life have insisted that the Government must put public opinion ahead of BAE's demands. We urge the Government to listen to the public outrage and reopen the BAE-Saudi corruption inquiry."ENDS
1. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade.
2. On 14th December 2006, the Serious Fraud Office and the Government announced that they were suspending an investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in its arms deals with Saudi Arabia. CAAT and the Corner House have lodged grounds for a judicial review of this decision.
3. Today's demonstration was organised by CAAT as part of its Control BAE campaign, which calls for the Saudi corruption inquiry to be reopened.
4. CAAT spokespeople are available for interview about the AGM and the wider issues involved.
5. Photographs of the demonstration are available on request.
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