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A USD 400M settlement over BAE systems case

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LONDON (AP): Defence Company BAE Systems PLC said that it would pay fines totalling more than USD 400 million after reaching settlements with Britain's anti-fraud agency and the US Justice Department to end decades-long corruption investigations into the company.

The world's No. 2 defence contractor said under its agreement with Washington, it would plead guilty to one charge of conspiring to make false statements to the US government over regulatory filings in 2000 and 2002. The agreement was subject to court approval, it said on Saturday.

In Britain, it said it would plead guilty to one charge of breach of duty to keep proper accounting records in relation to payments it made to a former marketing adviser in Tanzania in 1999.

The bulk of the fines would be paid to the U.S. authorities. In Britain, BAE will be paying penalties of 30 million pounds (USD 46.9 million), including a charity payment to Tanzania.

BAE says it "regrets and accepts full responsibility for these past shortcomings," but emphasised that all the offences happened years ago and do not reflect the company's current behaviour.

"We're satisfied with that global settlement," Chairman Dick Olver told reporters in a telephone conference call. "It allows us to draw a very heavy line under the legacy, the historical issues.

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