A lawyer who represented former SNC-Lavalin Vice-President Sami Bebawi is accused of trying to bribe a key witness in the company’s corruption trial.
SNC-Lavalin and Bebawi are currently facing fraud and bribery charges surrounding the company’s operations in Libya while it was still being ruled by the dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Constantine Kyres, allegedly bribed the company’s former head of projects in Libya, Riadh Ben Aïssa, with a payment between $8 to $10 million. The offer was contingent on Aïssa changing his testimony to match that of Bebawi.
“I was offered 10 million in return for taking over Sami Bebawi’s version,” Aïssa testified.
An undercover RCMP officer posing as a consultant for Bebawi secretly recorded Kyres in 2013 making the offer.
“Why should we give 8 to 10 million if he does not even recognize the truth as we see it?” said Kyres.
According to Kyres, Aïssa needed to change his testimony to receive the cash.
Earlier in the trial, it was revealed that Bebawi allegedly pocketed $26 million in funds funnelled through a shell corporation for himself and his uncle. The shell corporation transferred approximately $118 million in funds used in its dealings in Libya.
Scandal has surrounded the Quebec corporation’s activities since the charges were first laid. Evidence shows that the company spent millions funding sex parties for Gaddafi’s son Saadi Gaddafi while in Canada.
SNC-Lavalin paid around $2 million on prostitutes, travel and entertainment expenses for the dictator’s son.
The scandals have even implicated the Trudeau government after former Justice Minister and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould accused the Prime Minister’s Office of trying to politically interfere in the case by getting the company a deferred prosecution agreement.
Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion eventually ruled that Trudeau had broken ethics laws after directing officials to intervene in the matter.
“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.