Al-Yamamah Arms Agreement

Part of Opposition Day — [5th allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 2:42 pm on 7th February 2007.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General 2:42 pm, 7th February 2007

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.