Al-Yamamah: High Court rules against Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

Breaking news: following legal action, the High Court has just ruled that the Serious Fraud Office acted unlawfully in dropping the probe into corruption allegations around the Al-Yamamah arms deal. The Court has criticised the SFO for failing to stand up to Government pressure and has said that the SFO broke the law as a result.

As the Government pressure came direct from the then Prime Minister and Attorney General (Blair and Goldsmith), this ruling is a major rebuff to Labour.

It leaves a big question for Gordon Brown: is he going to respect the courts and now give full Government backing to the anti-corruption investigation, or will Labour continue to try to undermine and block it?

The ruling will also reinforce the calls for a public inquiry into the handling of the affair by the SFO and by Labour; you can sign the petition here.

UPDATE: Vince Cable has told the BBC that the ruling is “a devastating indictment of the government”, which had “crossed the line between law and politics”.

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