February hearing for SNC-Lavalin corruption trial

By Chris Sleight19 October 2015

SNC-Lavalin building

SNC-Lavalin building

The criminal case against SNC-Lavalin for alleged corrupt activities in Libya will be heard in Montreal, Canada in February 2016.

Charges were originally laid against SNC-Lavalin this February. The trial had been due to resume last week, having been postponed from July while both sides sifted through evidence. The reasons for the latest postponement were not given.

SNC-Lavalin is charged by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) with paying bribes totalling CA$ 47.7 million (US$ 37 million) to government officials in Libya and also defrauding construction clients of as much as CA$ 129.8 million (US$ 100 million). The offences are said to have taken place between 2001 and 2011 in Libya.

Suspicions were first aroused in February 2012, when SNC-Lavalin launched an investigation into “suspect payments” in Libya, which would cause it to make a loss for 2011.

SNC-Lavalin is expected to plead not guilty to the charges and has previously described them as being “without merit.” It has characterised the offences as the acts of rouge former employees. These include former executive vice president Riadh Ben Aissa, who has co-operated with the RCMP investigation. Former SNC-Lavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime is also alleged to have knowledge of the criminal activities.

Thought to be among the recipients of bribes in Libya was Saadi Gadhafi, son of the former dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

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