Extended Interview With Louis Freeh

Now attorney to Prince Bandar

As the head of his own global consulting firm, Freeh Group International, Louis Freeh has been hired by Prince Bandar as his legal representative on issues surrounding the Al-Yamamah arms deal. Lowell Bergman interviewed Louis Freeh on March 19, 2009 about allegations -- that Freeh insists are untrue -- that his client received approximately $2 billion and a wide-body Airbus 340 from arms company BAE Systems as part of the massive arms contract. Freeh finally agreed to be interviewed just weeks before our airdate, following months of requests by FRONTLINE for interviews with both Freeh and Prince Bandar.

Freeh was interviewed for the FRONTLINE film Black Money, which details the allegations of bribery leveled at BAE Systems and the Prince. This video contains extended excerpts of Bergman's interview with Freeh -- the first time anyone has spoken publicly on behalf of Prince Bandar about these allegations. Throughout this interview, there are markers referring to the footnotes below, which provide added context and corrections.

FOOTNOTE 1: Flow of Money to Riggs Bank

When asked about what appears to be personal expenditure of Al-Yamamah money by Prince Bandar, Freeh says, "If His Majesty, the King of Saudi Arabia and the Minister of Defense and Aviation and the Minister of Oil and the Minister of Finance, if they all agree and are aware of what's being expended by whom, there can't be any foul ball called by the United States because we think they should be applying another governance method."

That is not the way the U.S. Department of Justice sees the situation. Although he would not comment on the BAE investigation, Mark Mendelsohn, the chief prosecutor for international bribery at the Department of Justice clarified U.S. anti-bribery law: "Under U.S. law, it's absolutely irrelevant whether a foreign government acknowledges awareness that one of its officials was being corrupted or even endorses or approves of the corruption. So long as the bribe payment is for a corrupt purpose and goes to personally benefit the foreign official and the other elements of the statute are satisfied we can and will bring a prosecution."...


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