Oxford Uni funds cluster-bomb trade

New revelations show Oxford University has invested hundreds of millions of pounds in a US arms giant involved in production of cluster bombs despite Britainís membership in a treaty that bans the weapon.

Britain is one of the more than 100 countries that have signed the Cluster Munitions Convention, which prohibits the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster bombs. 

However, documents obtained by the Independent based on Freedom of Information regulations show Oxford University Endowment Management (OUEM) has invested £630,000 in Lockheed Martin, one of the only three arms producers in the US that still make cluster bombs. 

The British law only bans companies from direct investment in cluster munitions, which means the university can stick to its funding of Lockheed Martin projects. 

The OUEM said they have not breached any law by funneling their money to the US firm as Lockheed Martin is not blacklisted by a supervisory committee at the university in charge of ensuring the lawfulness of such contracts. 

The revelations could severely damage the image of Oxford University as one of the two major cultural and educational hubs in the UK.  In August, it emerged that three banking giants Barclays, HSBC and the state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have used the same loophole in the British law to invest millions of pounds in US arms producers including Lockheed Martin.