Highlighting a major UK-Saudi bribery scandal

18 April, 2024 | 1 minute read

After several years campaigning to ensure the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into bribes on Saudi defence contracts was not derailed by political interference, we were delighted when it did finally come to court. As the case against Airbus subsidiary, GPT Special Project Management Ltd and individuals passed through the courts, we got into the nitty gritty of the shocking allegations emerging about high-level authorisation of bribes by UK Ministry of Defence officials. Collecting the transcripts, applying for the evidence, we worked with the Guardian newspaper, to piece together what the MOD knew and gather substantial evidence from the court proceedings. Without that painstaking work, the full details of how government officials continued to consider how to pay Saudi officials well after a whistleblower went to law enforcement, and even as late as 2017 would not have come out. 

Spotlight has led the calls within the UK for a full independent review, and worked closely with the whistleblower involved. 

The Guardian articles can be seen here: Guardian newspaper on a series of articles. Our briefing papers on the trial and the underlying facts and outstanding questions and our Executive Director’s opinion piece in the Guardian give an overview of the issues and details in this case. We continue to advocate for greater transparency over this deeply concerning case.