Friday, 15 February 2008

Report: Blair dropped Saudi probe after being threatened

This story in today's Guardian reveals an absolutely shocking allegation made against Tony Blair in court: Saudi prince and close Bush ally Bandar Bin Sultan cajolled Tony Blair into dropping Britain's bribery investigation into a Saudi oil deal by threatening to unleash terroist attacks on Britain.

Bandar bin Sultan, who was the Saudi Ambassador to the US for 20 years, and a close personal friend of the Bush family, is under investigation for taking $2bn in bribe payments from BAE for arranging an arms deal. The British government investigation into this was mysteriously halted after Bandar visited Tony Blair in December 2006.

Now people have testified in court that Bandar, who's now the head of the Saudi National Security Council, basically told Blair that if he didn't stop investigating his corruption, he'd withhold information on suspected terrorists and there'd be a loss of "British lives on British streets." The Guardian writes:

Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced "another 7/7" and the loss of "British lives on British streets" if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.

Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE.

He was accused in yesterday's high court hearings of flying to London in December 2006 and uttering threats which made the prime minister, Tony Blair, force an end to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into bribery allegations involving Bandar and his family.
Bandar has in the past called himself 'Bandar Bush' because of his close ties to the Bush family. The nickname was reportedly given to him by George H.W. Bush himself.

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