U.S. Anti-corruption Investigators Question BAE Executives

 - May 23, 2008, 5:22 AM

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) raided the homes of a number of U.S.-based BAE executives in connection with allegations about corruption at BAE Systems. The DoJ also temporarily detained outgoing BAE Systems chief executive Mike Turner and a senior colleague, when they arrived at Houston Airport from the UK. The department is investigating whether illegal payments were made to Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia in connection with the Al-Yamamah contract, while he was the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. The UK government called off a similar inquiry in December 2006, a decision recently found illegal by the British High Court, but now the subject of an appeal by the government. A BAE-commissioned inquiry into the company’s business ethics recently unveiled its recommendations. However, this inquiry did not investigate past practices. In theory, Turner and other current and former BAE executives could be extradited to face charges in the U.S., under the terms of a liberal Anglo-U.S. treaty, should the DoJ elect to bring a case against the company.