Musings —05.29.2019 10:10 AM—
There is enough evidence against SNC-Lavalin for the engineering corporation to be tried on fraud and bribery charges, a Quebec court judge has ruled.
SNC-Lavalin spent months lobbying the federal government to avoid finding itself in this position. It hoped to use a new legal mechanism — a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) — to pay a fine rather than risk conviction.
But its efforts ignited a major political scandal in Ottawa when the former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, accused the Prime Minister’s Office of pressuring her to arrange a deal for SNC-Lavalin.
The court’s decision was handed down in Montreal on Wednesday. It followed an extended preliminary inquiry into accusations from federal prosecutors in 2015.
They allege SNC-Lavalin paid around $48 million in bribes to Libyan officials between 2001 and 2011, a violation of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.
Federal prosecutors also allege SNC-Lavalin defrauded a number of Libyan institutions out of $130 million over the same period.