BAE: secret papers reveal threats from Saudi prince

Prince Bandar bin sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud

Prince Bandar, head of Saudi Arabia’s national security council, leaving Downing Street last October. Photograph: Martin Argles

Saudi Arabia’s rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday.

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.

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US judge blocks Bandar funds transfer

WASHINGTON – A federal judge has temporarily blocked Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador to the United States, from removing real estate sales proceeds from the United States pending resolution of a class-action lawsuit.The suit filed last September by a tiny Michigan city retirement system accuses current and former directors of BAE Systems PLC, a giant British defense company, of breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with $2 billion or more in alleged illegal bribes paid to Bandar in connection with an $86 billion BAE arms sale to Saudi Arabia in 1985.

Bandar also is named a defendant in the suit, along with the former Riggs Bank of Washington and its successor, PNC Financial Group.

BAE and Bandar have strongly denied that illegal payments were made to Bandar.

Without ruling on the merits of the case, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer said in a temporary restraining order, signed Feb. 5, that the suit by the City of Harper Woods Employees’ Retirement System raises serious questions of law that warrant a temporary order keeping Bandar from taking the proceeds of real estate sales out of U.S.-based accounts.

The order directs that such sales proceeds “be deposited and/or invested pursuant to a prudent man standard” in U.S. accounts, but specifically notes that it “does not prevent him from selling real property” and “only interferes with his ability to invest and/or deposit any sales proceeds in a minimal way.”

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