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Former SNC-Lavalin VP pocketed $26 million through shell company, Crown alleges

Sami Bedawi and SNC-Lavalin are facing trial for bribery and fraud charges relating to its conduct in Libya.

The ongoing SNC-Lavalin trial revealed that the Quebec engineering company transferred around $118 million to a shell corporation used in its dealings with the Gaddafi government in Libya.

Out of that sum, Crown prosecutors allege that the company’s former vice-president Sami Bebawi paid himself and his uncle a total of $26 million. 

Bebawi and SNC-Lavalin are facing trial for bribery and fraud charges relating to its conduct in Libya. 

Prior to the election, an investigation by the ethics commissioner, Mario Dion, ruled that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke ethics laws when he and his office attempted to politically interfere in the case. 

Trudeau was found to have pressured former Justice Minister and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould into getting SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement. After Wilson-Raybould refused Trudeau’s orders, she was shuffled into another cabinet position and was eventually removed from caucus.

Justin Trudeau is the first Prime Minister to have broken ethics laws while in office. 

“The authority of the Prime Minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and attempt to discredit the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson‑Raybould as the Crown’s chief law officer,” wrote Commissioner Dion.

Wilson-Raybould was replaced by David Lametti, the Member of Parliament for LaSalle—Émard—Verdun. He was recently re-appointed to the role of Justice Minister and Attorney General in Trudeau’s new cabinet. According to government records, Lametti was lobbied by SNC-Lavalin in 2017 where he discussed deferred prosecution agreements with the company’s lobbyists. 

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the company spent $2 million to fund parties and prostitutes for Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son while he travelled through Canada. 

Preliminary hearings found that a total of $30,000 in sexual services from escorts were billed to the company by Saadi Gaddafi, with some sessions running up to $7,500. 

If convicted, the company will have to face a 10-year federal ban on government contracts. 

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