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The legal tangle of corruption and CANDU nuclear company SNC Lavalin

secret-dealsInside the ‘clandestine world’ of SNC-Lavalin’s fallen star Riadh Ben Aissa, Financial Post, Brian Hutchinson, Financial Post Staff | March 18, 2015 “……..This is one of the details revealed in a 98-page document prepared by Swiss prosecutors (called an acte d’accusation en procédure simplifiée, it is comparable to a North American plea bargain agreement) and obtained by the Financial Post. It brings to light previously unknown details of how Mr. Ben Aissa, a 56-year-old citizen of both Tunisia and Canada, and now facing charges in Canada on a different matter, directed 12.5 million euros and US$21.9 million into Swiss bank accounts controlled by Saadi Gaddafi, from 2001 to 2007.

These were kickbacks, paid to Saadi by Mr. Ben Aissa in return for certain Libyan contracts awarded to SNC. According to Swiss authorities, tens of millions more dollars moved through Mr. Ben Aissa’s own Swiss accounts, from September 2001 to March 2011. The money came from SNC……..

the Swiss proceedings raise new questions about SNC, its vulnerability, and its future, which even its current CEO, Robert Card, has publicly worried may be at risk of either breaking up, ceasing to exist or being taken over. Since it found itself embroiled in scandal, the company has seemed in perpetual crisis, with more drama this week in its boardroom, with the sudden resignation of its chairman, and in a Montreal courtroom, where Mr. Ben Aissa and another former SNC executive began a preliminary hearing over allegations of bribery in a Canadian hospital deal.

While some might question how SNC did not know about Mr. Ben Aissa’s conduct in Libya, some insiders still seem inclined to blame him alone for setting into motion the company’s stunning fall from grace.

“Good luck sorting out Riadh Ben Assia’s clandestine world,” former SNC chairman Gwyn Morgan wrote in a brief response to questions put to him by email about certain activities that allegedly took place during his leadership……..

SWwiss authorities identified five specific areas of corruption where SNC cash was used to obtain contracts in Libya. ……

Last month, the RCMP laid criminal charges against SNC Lavalin itself, in connection to allegedly corrupt activities in Libya. The charges came as a blow; sources claim the company’s management and its lawyers had negotiated with Canadian authorities for two years, in an attempt to avoid prosecution. A criminal conviction for corruption could result in the company being prohibited — “debarred” — from bidding on public works projects in Canada…….

On Monday, SNC announced the resignation of Ian Bourne, its board chairman, effective immediately. He’d been in the position just two years, having replaced Mr. Morgan in 2013. SNC did not give specific reasons why Mr. Bourne decided to leave.

The same morning, two former SNC executives walked into a Montreal courtroom for the start of a preliminary hearing on other corruption-related matters. One was Pierre Duhaime, SNC’s former CEO and president. The second was Mr. Ben Aissa, back in Canada after his Swiss incarceration and extradition. Both are charged with fraud, related to alleged construction bid-rigging in Montreal, in what one police investigator has called the “biggest corruption fraud in Canadian history.”

Mr. Duhaime, Mr. Ben Aissa, former SNC controller Stéphane Roy and five other men, among them Canada’s former spy watchdog, Arthur Porter, allegedly participated a corrupt scheme that saw an international consortium led by SNC win a $1.34-billion hospital construction and maintenance contract for the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), in 2010. Dr. Porter has publicly refuted the allegations and none have been proven in court. Mr. Duhaime has pleaded not guilty. Mr. Ben Aissa is also in court fighting the allegations……….


March 28, 2023 - Posted by | Canada, secrets,lies and civil liberties

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