(File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Judge rules SNC-Lavalin headed to trial on charges of fraud, corruption

SNC-Lavalin and Justin Trudeau have argued a criminal trial could make the company go to the U.S.

A Quebec judge has ruled that SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is headed to trial on charges of fraud and corruption.

The decision is the latest step in criminal proceedings that began last fall after the Montreal-based engineering and construction giant failed to secure a deferred prosecution agreement, a kind of plea deal that would have seen the firm agree to pay a fine rather than face prosecution.

Over the past four months, SNC-Lavalin has found itself in the centre of a political controversy following accusations from former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould that top government officials pressured her to overrule federal prosecutors, who had opted not to negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement with the company.

SNC-Lavalin and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have argued that a criminal trial could trigger the company’s exit to the United States and the loss of thousands of jobs.

The RCMP has accused SNC-Lavalin of paying $47.7 million in bribes to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011. The company, its construction division and a subsidiary also face one charge each of fraud and corruption for allegedly defrauding various Libyan organizations of $129.8 million.

The company can choose a trial by jury or by judge alone. Prior to that, it can opt to apply within 30 days to the Superior Court of Quebec to have Wednesday’s lower court decision quashed.

READ MORE: ‘A line … was crossed’ in SNC-Lavalin affair, says New Democrat MP

VIDEO: Wilson-Raybould and Philpott to run as Independents in fall election

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Multiple accidents on Highway 1 slowing morning commutes

One accident just past 232 Street in Langley, second is just East of Bradner Street in Abbotsford

Abbotsford buses more reliable after summer service upgrades, BC Transit says

More buses are on time, but some are still forced to bypass riders to keep to schedule

Man charged with stealing Chief Dan George sculpture from Abbotsford school

Piece turned up in Mission pawn shop after Chilliwack artist noticed it missing this summer

New real-time location technology coming soon to Fraser Valley buses

Waiting riders will be able to see location of their bus using their phones

VIDEO, PHOTOS: Pie-eating aficionados in Mission

Annual Country Fall Fair featured entertainment, local produce and a pie-eating contest

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Guilty plea in Lower Mainland break-and-enter spree

Gordon Vincent Gladstone, 42, was charged with 12 counts relating to a dozen incidents in late 2018

Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Most Read