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Judge rules SNC-Lavalin headed to trial

Judge rules SNC-Lavalin headed to trial
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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.

More to come...

Judge rules SNC-Lavalin will stand trial on criminal corruption charges. Crown alleges between 2001-2011, SNC paid at least $47.7M in bribes to Libyan officials to secure contracts from Gadhafi regime.
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