Telegraph Online said:French angle for Saudi billions
The government of Saudi Arabia is set to tear up its Â£76bn agreement with Britain for Eurofighter Typhoons and hand the contract to France if the Serious Fraud Office opens up secret Swiss bank accounts allegedly linked to members of the Saudi royal family.
Senior British government sources last night predicted that the Saudi authorities would stand by their promise to cancel the recently signed order for 72 Eurofighter Typhoons if the SFO goes ahead with plans to open up potentially embarrassing bank accounts as part of its long-running investigation into allegations of bribery.
The Eurofighters are being built by a European consortium including BAE Systems, Britain's largest defence contractor. Now, Saudi Arabia is considering buying the Rafale, made by France's national contractor Dassault. It is understood President Jacques Chirac has stepped up his lobbying of the Saudi authorities.
Now then Dear Leader, just what are you going to do?