BAE Systems ‘does not know’ if British weapons used to commit war crimes, chairman admits
Chairman claims arms manufacturer has ‘impeccable record on values’
BAE Systems does not know whether its weapons are used to commit war crimes, the defence firm’s chairman has admitted while praising its “impeccable record on values”.
Sir Roger Carr told shareholders gathered at the company’s annual general meeting they were not complicit in war crimes allegedly committed by Saudi Arabia using BAE-made planes and bombs in Yemen.
Asked whether any of its products were used in an airstrike that recently killed at least 20 people at a wedding, including the bride, he replied: “You don’t know and I don’t know.”
US special forces secretly sent to help Saudi Arabia in Yemen conflict
UK announces £170m Yemen aid package as millions face starvation
Labour: UK ministers accountable for child deaths in Saudi’s Yemen war
Sir Roger later admitted that BAE Systems equipment “may have been used” by Saudi forces in a military intervention to crush anti-government protests in Bahrain in 2011.
Monitors allege that weapons and aircraft manufactured by BAE Systems have been deployed to kill civilians and violate international law in Yemen.
But British exports to Saudi Arabia have continued, with the UK licencing more than £4.6bn worth of arms to the country since the bombing started.