UK court rules British Govt. arms exports to Saudi Arabia as `legal`

| Updated: Jul 11, 2017 08:01 IST

London [UK], July 11 (ANI): A UK High Court has ruled that British Government's weapons sales to Saudi Arabia are lawful and dismissed claims which accused the latter of acting illegally in supplying bombs and fighter jets which have been used by Riyadh in the Yemen conflict. However, the anti-arms trade campaigners Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), who had filed the case, said that they will appeal against the decision. "We have concluded that the material decisions of the secretary of state were lawful. We therefore dismiss the claim," The Guardian quoted Lord Justice Burnett, who heard the case with Justice Haddon-Cave, as saying while delivering an open judgment in the high court in London. Lawyers representing CAAT argued that arms sale to Saudi Arabia was a violation of the UK's arms export policy as these arms might be used to break international humanitarian law. The judgment is being seen as a huge relief for British Prime Minister Theresa May, who attracted widespread criticism from activists for the country's arms deals with Saudi Arabia. According to reports, more than USD 3.5 billion of arms have been licensed to Saudi Arabia by the UK in the last two years, despite claims that these weapons are being used in violations of International Humanitarian law in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has waged a bombing campaign since 2015. Several people have died in the civil war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have backed the ousted government against Houthi rebels supported by Iran. (ANI)