The Attorney General’s senior barrister provided at the time what appeared to be official confirmation of the company’s statements that it had never supplied Israel with military components, but this confirmation was nothing but an uncritical acceptance of the company's own argument without any evidence.
In this way the Crown colluded with the company to keep EDO's arms sales to Israel secret, and protect the comapny from a US Government legal action.
David Perry went on to provide the 'independent advice' to the CPS that brought an end to the the Cash for Honours investigation last July, and has acted for the Government in a number of cases against anti-war protesters.
In his submissions in the EDO Injunction case he supported EDO MBM’s assertion that they did not sell components to Israel. Perry submitted that is was 'incorrect' that the company supplied Israel.
On 6 September,this year a request under FOI to the Attorney General for the actual evidence or authority supporting the then Senior Counsel’s assertion, brought a curious response from Patrick Driscoll, FOI Officer at the Treasury Solicitors Office (TSol).
‘We have reviewed the papers held relating to this case. It appears that the basis upon which Mr Perry's submission (that it was 'incorrect' that the claimant in the proceedings had supplied military components to the state of Israel) was made was on the basis of the evidence of the claimants.’
‘Unfortunately we are not currently able to locate our copy of that evidence-it appears to have become detached from our file when the papers were sent for storage. Accordingly we are unable to send you a copy of the evidence.’
But what was the evidence?
On 17 October after a request to TSol for an internal review, complaining about of the implausibility of all the evidence and other documents relating to it having vanishedTSol changed their story. Head of Division Simon Harker responded
‘You said that you wished to see any documents or correspondence relating to the case that provided authority for the assertion made by Counsel for the Crown that it was incorrect that EDO MBM Technology Ltd supplied military components to the state of Israel.’
‘I have examined the papers on this case that we have been able to locate. There are no documents or correspondence on our file relating to the supply of military components to Israel other than the statement made by the Claimants own case that there was no such supply.’
The authority of Perry’s ‘independent advice’ to the High Court evaporates, and demonstrates that the Attorney General’s office and TSol is more interested in supporting US military industrial state-corporate power, than the freedom to protest of the good people of Brighton.
The cover-up of EDO MBMs supply to Israel continues to emerge with each new bit of information that comes out.
On December 7 2005 the then Managing Director of EDO MBM David Jones was questioned in Lewes Crown Court in a protesters appeal case. The defence lawyers asked him about the disappearance in 2004 of items from his company’s website relating to Israel.
EVIDENCE OF DAVID ANTHONY JONES.
(FROM THE OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT)
DEFENCE BARRISTER. Well reasonably quickly after protests started you at EDO took down a number of the postings on your website?
DEFENCE BARRISTER. And that was because of the bad publicity?
JONES. That was because we were experiencing protests and we were --
didn't want to advertise what we particularly do to outside people who were likely to use it against us.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. Protests were raising publicity you have accepted. You have accepted that, haven't you?
JONES. They were accepted, yes.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. The publicity was drawing interest to your website?
JONES. Again, I can't answer that because I don't know.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. And in any event you took items off your website so as to actively unpublicise exactly what it is that EDO does?
JUDGE RENNIE: Well he has already agreed to that.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. Can I ask you about Zero Retention Force Arming Units, which is another----
JONES. You may, but let me -- if I can stop you there, it is an American product, not made by EDO UK. We have the capability of selling them, and again it's made by a sister company and we will sell them if necessary.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. Well let me read this to you because it may clarify it. This was another part of the site that was removed by yourselves. At the bottom it says: "EDO MBM Technology Limited, Defence Systems, Emblem House, Home Farm Business Park, Brighton, BN19HE, United Kingdom." Is that your company?
DEFENCE BARRISTER. And it says: "EDO MBM Zero-Retention Force Arming Unit provides (tape inaudible) low capacity with positively" something "retention for armed releases and zero retention for safe lanyard release." Can I show that to you? Will you first of all have a look at that. (Same handed http://www.tiny.cc/exhibit) Does this look familiar to you?
JONES. Yes, it does.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. Now if you look at the bottom it says: "Current applications" can you see that?
DEFENCE BARRISTER. "Include US Navy, BRU-32" - yes? "BRU-41, BRU-42." What is "BRU"?
JONES. Bomb release unit.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. "BRU-45, USAF" --"USA" is USA?
JONES. US Air Force.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. "RAAF" is who?
JONES. Royal Australian Air Force, I would imagine.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. Tornado HMERU where is that, HM?
JONES. It is the heavy-duty ejector release unit of the Tornado and the "L" is the light.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. LMERU?
JONES. Yes, that is the light duty.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. And then IAF, what is IAF?
JONES. I would imagine it is Israeli Air Force.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. VER-2 and VER-4?
DEFENCE BARRISTER. And it is dealing with a Zero Retention Force Arming Units and it is on your website?
DEFENCE BARRISTER. So these are countries that you provide?
JONES. No, as I just said earlier on at the beginning of this, these are products which are manufactured in the US, and we as a sister company of the US would sell them if someone came for them.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. I see. So it is a sister company that has got your address on it?
DEFENCE BARRISTER. Yes?
JONES. Because we are indigenous to the UK.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. Who is the sister company that this has got anything to do with then?
JONES. It's a company called EDO Artisan.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. I can see their name all over this, but can you point it to me in case I have difficulty. Where does it say that?
JONES. Well it doesn't on here, no, it is a marketing tool.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. So on the face of this, this is an EDO MBM, can I hand a copy to you. (Same handed http://www.tiny.cc/exhibit )
JUDGE RENNIE: We are following it, it is very straightforward.
DEFENCE BARRISTER: (To the witness) And the sister company, is that part of EDO UK.
JONES. No, it's EDO Corporation.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. EDO Corporation. And what is the connection between EDO Corporation and EDO UK?
JONES. Its its parent company.
DEFENCE BARRISTER. I see, so it is all connected?
JONES. Well every parent company has many -- well, that's not true.
Parent companies have subsidiaries which are sister companies. In a lot of instances and in most sensible commercial operations sister companies will sell other company's products in the same group....
According to www.archive,org at the same time that Jones admitted that he had edited the EDO MBM website to hide, as he put it, ‘what we particularly do’ the Artisan website was also edited to give the impression that the Zero Retention Force Arming Unit was made in the US by them, rather than by EDO MBM in Brighton.
Since 2000 the sister company Artisan had been advertising the component but crucially only as an MBM product from Brighton, and even since 2003 when EDO Corporation had bought both MBM and Artisan (adding ‘EDO’ to their company names) it had then only been advertised as an EDO MBM product, not an EDO Artisan one.
On top of this, the US industrial classification codes and US Census Bureau records for Artisan http://www.tiny.cc/EDOARTCCR show they are not even registered as a company that makes arming units, or for that matter any bomb or aircraft parts whatsoever, whereas the same US industrial code entry for EDO MBM in Brighton http://www.tiny.cc/EDOMBMCCR lists them as a contractor for the US Government, manufacturing bombs, aircraft parts and arming units as their primary business.
Further cursory investigations of US records show Artisan as a ‘point of contact’ for EDO MBM products; reflecting the two companies close relationship, and confirming Jones’ court statement that ‘in a lot of instances and in most sensible commercial operations sister companies will sell other company's products’.
Here Jones was cleverly reversing the true relationship between EDO MBM and EDO Artisan. By cross referencing of US government records with the hidden pages of EDO websites still available on the www.archive.org website, it becomes even clearer that EDO Artisan does not and has never have made a single arming unit itself.
In March 2007 shortly after EDO MBM website texts and images relating to the arming unit were used again as evidence for the defence in yet another trial of anti-war protesters, EDO MBM edited their site one last time to remove references to the component. These were references that stated the component was being ‘actively manufactured’ in Brighton. Nowhere on the EDO Artisan website has a comparable statement ever been found.
So why don’t EDO MBM just come clean?
To reveal any details of military contracts with Israel would lead to more protests, new ammunition in the legal defences of protesters arrested, and also even a US Govt legal action against the New York based parent corporation EDO Corp for breach of American anti-boycott laws.
The US Anti-boycott laws came into effect in 1977. They make it a criminal offence for US persons (including companies) to take any part in boycotting Israel, or even in furnishing anyone involved in such boycotts with information about business partnerships with the country.
These rules apply to all ‘US persons’ including foreign based subsidiaries of US companies. If EDO (UK) spill any beans in Brighton, their bosses in New York could get into trouble with the US Goverment. EDO Corp gets most of its $1billion+ dollar a year business from US Government military contracts so they are its most important customer.
According to the US Chamber of Commerce website
‘The definition of "boycott" is expansive and includes such seemingly benign activity as furnishing information about the nationality of past or present business partners… The penalties imposed for each "knowing" violation can be a fine of up to $50,000 or five times the value of the exports involved, whichever is greater, and imprisonment of up to five years.’
EDO MBM are probably more concerned about breaking this US law that would seriously impart their bosses in New York, than any UK law about telling the truth in court.
When the UK Attorney General sends his own representative to back up EDO MBM’s lies in the High Court of Justice it is very likely that the Brighton arms dealers are confident that the UK legal system will protect them from any charges of perjury or giving false evidence, never mind complicity in war crimes which we all know they are up to their necks in.
What does all this say about 'British Justice'?
Just everything you need to know.
US Chamber of Commerce. Anti-Boycott Page
FOIA. US anti-boycott warning Letters
FOIA. US anti-boycott violations