The Court found in favour of the Serious Fraud Office and confirmed that bribery of foreign officials was unlawful under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906, even before the amendments made by the Anti-Terrorism, Crime & Security (2001, but entered into force on 14 February 2002).

It is worthy of note that this was exactly the position adopted by the UK when the matter was raised by the OECD Working Group on Bribery in relation to both the UK’s Phase 1 (1999) and Phase 1 bis (2002) reviews. The Phase 1 review states that:

"Subsection 1(3) of the 1906 Act clarifies that the definition of “agent” includes persons serving under certain domestic public bodies (i.e. persons serving under the Crown or under any corporation or any borough, county, or district council, or any board of guardians”), but does not contain any clarification that the term “agent” includes foreign public officials. However, it is the view of the U.K. authorities that the language used in the 1906 Act is wide by design and covers foreign public officials. In support of their position they cite the Law Commission Report on the law on corruption and the decision of Rv. Raud [1989] Crim. L.R. 809 (C.A.). In Raud the Court of Appeal upheld a decision in which the accused, Raud, was convicted of conspiring, contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977, with an agent of the Government of Ireland and other persons to promote the activities of the agent, which were to corruptly agree to obtain money in exchange for providing Irish passports, contrary to section 1 of the 1906 Act." (Phase 1, p.3)

While the follow-up 1 bis notes that:

"The views of the U.K. authorities differed and still differ from the Working Group’s analysis as set out in paragraph 16 above. According to the U.K, the existence of a single case where a foreign public official was held to be the agent of a foreign government in terms of the 1906 Act was sufficient in U.K. law to create the presumption that this view will be upheld by the courts in any future case. In another case (Van der Horst), an agent (in the private sector) was convicted under the 1906 Act despite the fact that he worked for a foreign principal, and that the corrupt activity was mainly carried out overseas." (1 bis, p.4)

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