Rt. Hon. Tony Blair
10 Downing Street
london SW1 26 October 1998
I am writing to request that the government publish the report titled 'Sandstorm'. This report was prepared prior to the closure of BCCI in 1991. The report has been publicly available in the USA for a considerable time. I believe that it should be equally accessible in the UK and that British people should be given the same opportunity to read and consider its contents. Therefore, I am urging that the government publish the report.
Previously, I have urged the Treasury to publish the report, but Alistair Darling (then at the Treasury) was reluctant to do so. Previously, it could have been argued that litigation against BCCI auditors Price Waterhouse was perhaps a good reason for not publishing the report (though such arguments did not prevent the US authorities from publishing the report) but now that the litigation has been settled there appears to be no legal, moral and/or ethical reason for keeping the British people in the dark. It is believed that the report shows that Price Waterhouse masterminded the relocation of BCCI treasury functions from London to Abu Dhabi. If this is so, then it raises new questions about the role of auditors in the BCCI affair.
I am writing to you because some issues of 'principles' are involved. The public has been led to believe that Labour is committed to 'freedom of information'. This being so, the British people should have access to information which is now openly available in the USA. I am sure that you would wish to reaffirm the government's commitment to 'freedom of information' and provide tangible proof of that by placing a copy of the 'Sandstorm' report in the library of the House.
I look forward to hearing from you.