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Former SNC-Lavalin executive found guilty on Libya corruption charges | - News

Former SNC-Lavalin executive found guilty on Libya corruption charges | - News

A jury convicted former SNC-Lavalin executive Sami ​​​​​​​Bebawi, 73, on all five counts he was facing, which included fraud, corruption of foreign officials and laundering proceeds of crime. A jury convicted Sami ​​​​​​​Bebawi, 73, on all five counts he was facing, which included fraud, corruption of foreign officials and laundering proceeds of crime. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)A former SNC-Lavalin executive has been found guilty of fraud and corruption charges related to the engineering company’s activities in Libya. A jury convicted Sami Bébawi, 73, on all five counts he was facing, which included fraud, corruption of foreign officials and laundering proceeds of crime.During the trial, federal Crown prosecutors portrayed Bébawi, who headed SNC’s international construction division, as a key figure in an elaborate scheme to bribe senior officials in dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s regime. The Crown alleged that SNC-Lavalin transferred about $113 million to shell companies used to pay people who helped the company collect money and secure contracts in Libya, beginning in the late 1990s. They argued that Bébawi pocketed around $26 million in kickbacks. Bébawi’s lawyers said that money was legitimate bonuses that had been authorized by the corporation’s president at the time, Jacques Lamarre. Following Sunday’s verdict, Bébawi was released pending his sentencing. Hearings will begin Dec. 19. Following Sunday’s verdict, Bébawi was released pending his sentencing. Hearings will begin Dec. 19. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)  Gadhafi connections also source of charges against company Bébawi’s trial centred in particular on his interactions with Gadhafi’s son, Saadi, who helped SNC-Lavalin secure lucrative contracts before the regime collapsed in 2011. The interactions between SNC representatives and Saadi Gadhafi are also at the centre of federal charges against the company. It’s alleged SNC-Lavalin paid around $48 million in bribes to Libyan officials between 2001 and 2011, a violation of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. Federal prosecutors also claim SNC-Lavalin defrauded a number of Libyan institutions out of $130 million over the same period. SNC-Lavalin lobbied federal government officials in the hopes of securing a deal, known as a deferred prosecution agreement, that would have allowed it to avoid a trial on these charges, in exchange for paying a fine. Those efforts have so far proved unsuccessful, but resulted in controversy for the federal Liberals.  An Ethics Commissioner’s report concluded that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated ethics laws as he tried to convince his then-justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to reverse her decision to not grant the agreement.

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