1 October 2009 | Allie Anderson
The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) today announced it intends to prosecute defence contractor BAE Systems on charges of overseas corruption.
The SFO said in a statement: "The Serious Fraud Office intends to seek the Attorney General's consent to prosecute BAE Systems for offences relating to overseas corruption and will prepare its papers to be submitted to the Attorney when the SFO considers it is ready to proceed.
"This follows the investigation carried out by the SFO into business activities of BAE Systems in Africa and Eastern Europe."
The SFO investigation has been ongoing since 2004.
In response, BAE Systems said: "The company continues to expend considerable effort seeking to resolve, at the earliest opportunity, the historical matters under investigation by the SFO.
"BAE Systems has at all times acted responsibly in its dealings with the SFO, taking into account the interests of its shareholders and employees and the legal advice it has received.
"If the director of the SFO obtains the consent that he seeks from the Attorney General and proceedings are commenced, the company will deal with any issues raised in those proceedings at the appropriate time and, if necessary, in court."