Saudi Council of Ministers Approves National Authority for Combating Corruption
June 20, 2007 (LPAC)--Without mentioning the biggest corruption scandal in a century, the BAE-Al Yamamah deal involving Prince Bandar, Arabnews.com reports that on Monday, June 18, the Council of Ministers in Saudi Arabia approved a national strategy for combating corruption, and the cabinet set up an authority to monitor implementation of the strategy--the National Authority for Combating Corruption. In passing the anti-graft bill, the cabinet urged all government departments to combat corruption by carrying out their duties in accordance with the law and to hold all officials, irrespective of their positions, accountable.
Reflecting a raging factional battle within Saudi Arabia over the exposure of the BAE scandal, the new National Authority for Combating Corruption will be under the direct supervision of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah. The head of the authority will be appointed by a royal decree and will have a ministerial rank. All officials including ministers will be held accountable. State-owned companies like Saudi Basic Industries Corp., Armco and Saudi Electricity Co. will be questioned in cases of malpractice.
LPAC has already documented that in addition to the $2 billion which Prince Bandar has reportedly received personally from BAI since 1985, the British have received approximately $80 billion over the last 22 years above the value of the goods and services delivered by BAE to the Saudis in the Al Yamamah deal.
According to Arabnews.com, Majed Garoub, a legal consultant and chairman of the lawyers committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated that SR3 trillion ($800 billion) have been "lost" in so-called "corruption flight" over an unspecified period of time.