31 July, London – In response to an announcement by the Serious Fraud Office that the agency has charged defence contractor GPT Special Project Management and three individuals after a long-running corruption investigation, Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International UK, said:
“After more than two years of unexplained delays, it is most encouraging to see the Attorney General finally permit the Serious Fraud Office to pursue this case. These are serious allegations which involve corruption relating to a large defence contract. Failing to proceed with this would have given the impression that the UK Government condones this sort of practice.”
Notes to editors:
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) launched an investigation into GPT Special Project Management in August 2012.
SFO investigators requested permission to prosecute GPT from the Attorney General’s Office more than two years ago.
Transparency International UK, along with Spotlight on Corruption, wrote to the previous Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, in October 2019 to express concern over the unexplained delays.
In January this year, courts in the UK, France and United States approved a corporate plea deal – known as a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) – which saw GPT’s parent company Airbus agree to pay £3billion in penalties after admitting to using middlemen to pay bribes to secure aircraft contracts.