UK High Court begins judicial review of BAE arms deal with Saudi Arabia

Lawyers for anti-corruption and arms trade lobby groups argued Thursday that Britain's Serious Fraud Office was illegally pressured by former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his government to drop an investigation into an arms deal between BAE Systems PLC and Saudi Arabia. The Campaign Against Arms Trade and anti-bribery group Corner House are challenging the Serious Fraud Office's December 2006 decision in the High Court after winning the right to a judicial review. Blair took responsibility for the decision to halt the probe, saying the investigation threatened national security interests. The judicial review will determine whether or not the decision was made unlawfully - not if it was right or wrong.