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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

BBC Says Britain Paid Saudi Prince

LONDON -- A Saudi prince received millions of pounds for his own use as part of Britain's largest arms deal, the BBC said.

In an upcoming program, the BBC reports that the payments went to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who negotiated the #40 billion ($80 billion) Al-Yamamah arms deal to sell 100 warplanes in 1985.

BAE Systems, the prime contractor, has denied that it ever violated British law in relation to the contract. Prince Bandar refused to comment, the BBC said in a statement Wednesday.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has taken responsibility for calling off an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into allegations that BAE ran a ?60 million "slush fund" offering sweeteners to Saudi officials in return for contracts as part of the Al-Yamamah deal.

Speaking at the G8 summit in Germany, Blair refused to comment on the allegations raised in the BBC report, but repeated his long-standing defense of his government's actions.

News reports claimed that the Saudi government had told Britain to drop the probe or lose a ?10 billion contract to buy Typhoon Eurofighter jets, a deal that would supersede the Al-Yamamah agreement.

The BBC report says that up to ?120 million per year was sent by BAE from Britain to two Saudi Embassy accounts in Washington. There was no distinction between the accounts of the embassy and official government accounts, the BBC said.