SNC-Lavalin Will Stand Trial On Criminal Corruption Charges, Quebec Judge Rules

SNC-Lavalin will stand trial on criminal corruption charges linked to its alleged business activities in Libya under former dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

A Quebec judge ruled moments ago that prosecutors have enough evidence to sustain a trial of the Montreal engineering giant, which stands accused of fraud and bribing Libyan officials between 2001 and 2011 to get contracts.

The evidence is under a publication ban.

If convicted, the company could face being barred for up to 10 years from bidding on government contracts.

That prospect saw SNC-Lavalin lobby heavily for amendments to the Criminal Code that would let it admit wrongdoing but pay fine or other penalties instead.

The Liberals acquiesced and created the deferred prosecution framework last year.

But the director of public prosecutions declined to invite the company to negotiate such an agreement, which would have been the first time it was used in Canada, and that refusal is what former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould says prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and 10 of his most senior advisers to attempt to interfere in her decision not to overrule the director of public prosecutions.

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