A year ago, nose136 reported the appearance, in December 2010, in the Southwark Crown Court, London, of representatives of UK armaments company BAE Systems for sentencing, after the company had pleaded guilty to a charge of “failing to keep accurate accounting records” of its arms dealings with the Tanzanian government.
Mr Justice Bean sentenced the company to a fine of £500 000 and ordered it to contribute £225 000 towards the prosecution costs.
Not entirely stupid, the judge did inquire why there was no corruption charge, when the obvious inference was that bribes, amounting to £12.4 million had been paid by BAE’s agent in Tanzania. But he then reluctantly had to accept that the prosecution had no evidence that BAE took part in a conspiracy to corrupt decision makers in Tanzania or that the agent had paid bribes.
Last month, almost exactly a year later, The Telegraph reported: “A question in the House of Commons by Labour MP Hugh Bayley has revealed that BAE is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with the government of Tanzania this month (February 2012) about the £30m payment.”
Now that BAE Systems have found their cheque book – two years after the plea bargain agreement was concluded and more than a year after the sentencing – Mr Nose does wonder: for how long do we expect the cheque to be in the post?
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