top of page

UK: FORMER GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL CONVICTED FOR MISCONDUCT IN PUBLIC OFFICE

Military Radar

On March 6th, 2024, former Ministry of Defence (MoD) official Jeffrey Cook was convicted of misconduct in public office. In an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Cook had been found taking secret gifts and payments worth over 70,000 GBP in exchange for commissioning work to ME Consultants Ltd, a company registered in the Cayman Islands and with personal contacts with Cook. This happened between 2004 and 2008 while he was employed at the MoD and seconded to defence contractor Paradigm (owned by Airbus). Cook’s sentencing will take place at Southwark Crown Court on April 12th, 2024 (see the SFO Press Release of March 6, 2024: https://perma.cc/6W8T-L6RJ).


Cook was also in court in 2023 for bribes he and accountant John Mason allegedly paid to Saudi Arabian officials to secure defence contracts with the UK government. The two were accused of paying bribes worth almost 10 million GBP between 2007 and 2012. [1] Cook and Mason argued that the British government had approved and facilitated these payments and therefore pleaded not guilty. They were acquitted by a jury on March 6th, 2024. [2] Anti-corruption watchdogs are asking for a full independent inquiry into the UK government’s role in this potential bribery [3].


[1] Ring, S. (2023) "‘Deep corruption’ at centre of SFO Saudi bribery trial." Financial Times, 22/11/2023, URL: https://www.ft.com/content/792f6767-45d3-411e-a2f1-a83a391ad3b1

[2] Pegg, D. & Evans, R. (2024) "Two men acquitted of bribing Saudis in huge British defence deal." The Guardian, 06/03/2024, URL: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/mar/06/two-men-acquitted-of-bribing-saudis-in-huge-british-defence-deal; Tobin, S. (2024): "Two UK men found not guilty over bribes for Saudi military deals." Reuters, 06/03/2024, URL: https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/two-uk-men-found-not-guilty-over-bribes-saudi-military-deals-2024-03-06/ [3] Spotlight on Corruption (2024) "Acquittal of two men for making corrupt payments on UK-Saudi arms deal must lead to full independent inquiry into UK government’s role."




Comentários


bottom of page