Enticing Akehurst to work for her is quite a coup for Lorna Fitzsimons, BICOM’s chief executive. He was named “UK consultant of the year” at the 2008 Public Affairs News Awards. The prize was in recognition for his invaluable services for several companies that arm dictators.
Finmeccanica, one of his clients, cultivated strong links with Muammar Gaddafi lately. While it has predicted that its revenues for 2011 will exceed €18 billion, the civil war in Libya will inevitably have repercussions. The Italian firm has a backlog of orders worth €800 million from the Gaddafi regime.
Akehurst also represented GKN, which supplied water cannons to Indonesia in the 1990s, unperturbed about how its then military ruler Suharto was overseeing the brutal occupation of East Timor, where out one of the twentieth century’s worst cases of genocide occurred.Serco, another client of his, manages Britain’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) as part of a consortium that bands it together with the world’s number one weapons maker Lockheed Martin.
According to The Sunday Times, Zabludowicz is placed at number 31 on the list of Britain’s richest residents.
Even though Fitzsimons and Akehurst hail from a Labor background, Zabludowicz is agenerous contributor to the rival Conservatives, led by Prime Minister David Cameron. It isde rigueur for that party’s members of parliament to join the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFOI) and take part in its trips to the Middle East. One such junket – in February this year – included a visit to Elbit’s headquarters. A briefing note prepared by the CFOIunderscored how Elbit “provides the British armed forces with the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that play such a crucial role in intelligence-collection.” The MPs weren’t reminded that such warplanes were used to kill and maim women and children in Gaza during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 and early 2009.
I would like to congratulate Luke Akehurst on his new appointment and suggest that he studies his payslips carefully. If he does, he will see they are stained with the blood of innocent Palestinians.