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Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539
Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539

Francesca Cassidy-Taylor explains the defence strategy in two men’s Saudi bribery acquittal

Author: Francesca Cassidy-Taylor  8 March 2024

With two British men having been acquitted of bribing Saudi officials in an arms deal, Law 360 asked Francesca Cassidy-Taylor about the outcome.

She said that the men's defence strategy of arguing that they were pawns in a much larger bribery scheme that was organised and authorised at the top levels of government was "putting one's faith in the jury system."

She explained that a jury defence, rather than a technical legal defence, aims to persuade jurors that acquittal is the just result in the circumstances, irrespective of legal technicalities that may point to a defendant's guilt.

Francesca added: "It is a strategy reliant on common sense prevailing in the jury room.

“The repeated emphasis by defence teams of the role of the Ministry of Defence and politicians in sanctioning the corrupt payments almost certainly signifies the jury's disapprobation of such political complicity and the injustice that would arise from convicting individuals who had been 'hung out to dry' against this backdrop.

"The jury system is imperfect, but it is the cornerstone of criminal justice in the UK, and the verdicts in this case highlight why defence strategies should not discount the value of appealing to a jury's sense of justice.’’

The full article can be read here.

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Francesca Cassidy-Taylor

Senior Associate

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Francesca’s experience of top-level, multinational corporate crime investigations and her ability to identify the best route for clients has made her the first choice of many high net worth individuals, senior business figures and professionals.
She is sought by corporates for advice and representation on compliance matters; including responding to whistleblower complaints and conducting internal investigations and risk assessments.

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