Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Saudi connection

"Sultan, who is crown prince, "has a corrupt interest in all contracts", according to a dispatch from the then British ambassador Willie Morris published in a recent Commons committee report. An accompanying Ministry of Defence briefing paper prepared for the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher describes Prince Sultan as "not highly intelligent ... He has prejudices, is inflexible and imperious, and drives a hard bargain". The Al Yamamah deal, worth £43bn in total, has long been the subject of allegations of secret commissions to Lady Thatcher's son Mark, and to several members of the Saudi royal family. All those involved have always denied the allegations."

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