01 October 2009
Failure to reach deal 'could result in criminal prosecution of BAE'
If BAE Systems fails to come up with a last-minute deal it could face criminal prosecution in a business investigation, sources close to the matter have said.
Investigators want the firm to plead guilty over allegations of bribery and corruption and to pay a substantial fine.
For six years, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has been looking into the matter, which involved arms sales in the Czech Republic, Romania, Tanzania and South Africa.
The decision as to whether or not a criminal case will go ahead falls on attorney general Baroness Scotland.
In recent weeks, BAE has said it is the best interests of shareholders to allow the investigations to run their course.
Commenting on the issue, a spokesman for the SFO stated talks with BAE are ongoing.
The SFO is a government department that investigates and prosecutes serious or complex fraud and it is part of the UK's criminal justice system.
It has jurisdiction in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.