[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
BAE defends its business ethics
BAE worker fixing part of a submarine
BAE is responsible for some of the UK's biggest defence contracts
BAE Systems has defended its business ethics amid increasing calls to reopen a probe into a deal between the UK defence firm and Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at the firm's annual general meeting, chief executive Mike Turner said BAE upheld the law and was ethical in "all respects of our business".

BAE was accused of having a slush fund it could use to buy political favours and win billion-pound Saudi contracts.

The company has denied the accusations and said it has not paid any bribes.

A 30-month investigation by the Serious Fraud Office was dropped in the December on the advice of Attorney General Lord Goldsmith.

"In all respects of our business we behave ethically and uphold the law," Mr Turner said.

He added the long-running inquiry had distorted the view of the company.

'No bribes'

BAE chairman Dick Olver also tried to reassure shareholders over the firm's behaviour.

"The Attorney General said there was no case to answe, so there can have been no bribes," Mr Olver said.

Mr Olver told the shareholders' meeting that BAE had a zero-tolerance policy on corruption and made sure its 88,000 staff were vetted and received ethics training.

Not everyone was convinced. BAE investors and executives were met outside the meeting by protestors from the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).

CAAT, which wants the Saudi investigation to be reopened, said the decision to end it had "shocked people from all walks of life".


SEE ALSO
BAE in $4.5bn US takeover offer
07 May 07 |  Business
BAE lands submarine export order
02 May 07 |  Business
US objected to end of BAE inquiry
27 Apr 07 |  Business
Five arrested after BAE break-in
26 Apr 07 |  Business
BAE 'makes solo bid' for dockyard
20 Mar 07 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific