Wednesday, 22 June 2011

BBC 's curt Barling was at BEN TV head office to meet with the Company's chief excecutive Dr Alistair Soyode

He is reasearching on How the BBC can work together on programs that are of our communities' interest. His main focus is on issues of child abuse and trafficking

BBC london correspondent Kurt Barling with ayoub mzee


The tanzania High commissioner chairing a meeting of Tanzania MP s with their development partners at the mission . The meeting is about how BAE wil pay Tanzania as a result of a sale of a Radar that was not fit for purpose

Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House withdrew their application for a judicial review of the 5 February 2010 decision by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to enter a controversial plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems and to drop "conspiracy to corrupt" charges against a BAE former agent. They concluded they were unable to appeal against the 22 March 2010 refusal by a High Court judge to grant permission to bring the legal challenge. Nonetheless, both CAAT and The Corner House will continue to raise questions about the settlement and the process leading up to it.

Legal letter withdrawing judicial review application

The Tanzania high commissioner HE. Peter Kallaghe having a chat with represetaive from Campaign against arms Trade and the corner house.Corner House has aimed to support democratic and community movements for environmental and social justice, whether they are locally-based struggles for land or water rights or better health care; campaigns against destructive mining, dam or forestry projects; or struggles against racial discrimination. They pay constant attention to questions of social, economic and political power and practical strategy and try to take a "bottom-up" approach, informed by actual cases, to issues of global significance that are often handled in a more abstract way. As part of their solidarity work, The Corner House carries out analyses, research and advocacy with the aim of linking issues, stimulating informed discussion and strategic thought and encouraging broad alliances.

Lawyers acting for Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House lodged papers on 26 February 2010 at the High Court in London asking for an injunction to delay the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) from seeking court approval for its controversial plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems pending the outcome of a Judicial Review. They lodged papers requesting the Judicial Review at the same time.


In 2001 BAE sold a £28million Watchman air traffic control system to Tanzania, one of the world's poorest countries. The sale was funded through a loan from Barclays Bank. The deal was backed by then Prime Minister Tony Blair, but opposed by his International Development Secretary Clare Short, who, though she had no evidence, said she did not think the contract "could have been made cleanly". In 2002 the International Civil Aviation Organisation said the system used dated technology and was not adequate for civil aviation. Norman Lamb MP, who compiled a dossier on the deal, said a modern system could have been provided for 10% of the cost.

The documents released as part of the December 2010 UK plea bargain hearing, see above, revealed what had happenned. In October 1999, an agreement was drawn up between two companies controlled by BAE and two under the control of BAE's Tanzanian agent Sailesh Vithlani - one called Marlin International Ltd and the other, the Envers Trading Corporation. Merlin was a Tanzanian company and under the agreement was to receive 1% of the contract price from BAE itself; Envers, based in Panama, received 30% of the contract price via Red Diamond. The total paid was approximately $12.4million.

An international arrest warrant was issued for Sailesh Vithlani in August 2007 and a criminal case has been filed in Tanzania charging him with perjury and lying under oath in connection with the radar deal. He is said to have been in Europe and reports say he was interrogated by the SFO in July 2009.

In April 2008, Andrew Chenge, Tanzania's Infrastructure Minister, who had been Attorney General at the time of the radar purchase, resigned following claims regarding £500,000 in a Jersey bank account. He does not dispute the money's existence, but denies it came from BAE. One report alleges that Sailesh Vithlani sent a copy of a legal opinion by Andrew Chenge to Barclays stating that the purchase would not make Tanzania ineligible for International Monetary Fund loans.

It was reported in May 2011 that BAE had set up a committee of six people, three of them BAE employees, to decide how the £29.5million payment agreed as part of the UK plea bargain should be spent. The Tanzanian and, allegedly, the UK governments were said to be unhappy about this and thought the money should go to the Tanzanian government.