Al-Yamamah Arms Agreement
Opposition Day — [5th allotted day]
Dominic Grieve (Shadow Attorney General & Shadow Spokesman On Community Cohesion, Law Officers (Assist the Home Affairs Team); Beaconsfield, Conservative)
My hon. Friend makes a legitimate point. I simply have not the slightest idea how much money has been paid as side commission, so I do not feel able to comment further on the matter. All that I can say is that, on the question of whether it is a criminal offence to pay a substantial sum of money—whether a tiny or a large percentage of the total involved—to a third party as part of an agreement, with the knowledge of the principal, I find it difficult to see how such an offence has been committed.
It was asked whether there might have been a failure to disclose these payments in accounts. I do not know the answer to that, but it would be a separate issue to that of corruption. I am not in a position to make a judgment on that. On the main issue, however, the Attorney-General had a legitimate point to make—unless of course he is deceiving Parliament.