Wednesday , November 25 2020

Bribery and fraud in Libya: in Canada, SNC-Lavalin is still in the hot seat

Justin Trudeau is in the hot water since the start of a scandal associated with a cause of intervention. It is suspected that the First Minister outweighs his powers in the rescue of a Quebec company accused of corruption in Libya. What is the origin of this case? And what effects for Trudeau?

The case dates back to January 14, 2019, during the re-organization of the last trudeau government cabinet. The former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is abolished to the Veterans Affairs Department. This is a kind of penalty: Mrs. Wilson-Raybould is dismissed to a much smaller ministry. Yet the minister's jurisdiction had never been questioned in fact. Why has she deleted?

On the day of the redesign, the new Veterans Affairs Minister publishes a letter repeating the importance of separating powers. On his MP website, he insists on the independence of the Minister of Justice, who is also the Attorney General of Canada. At the time, nobody really understands Ms. intent. Wilson-Raybould.

"The role of the UK Attorney General has unique responsibilities in relation to the rule of law and the administration of justice. So some independence needs to be needed. The justice system must be free from political interference and maintain the highest level of trust the public, one of the pillars of our democracy, "said Jody Wilson-Raybould in his letter dated January 14, 2019.

On February 7th, The Globe and Mail newspapers announced shock allegations: Justin Trudeau's office lobbied and minister to suspend SNC-Lavalin legal proceedings. He is one of the largest engineering companies in the world, having a headquarters in Montreal. The British Royal Central Police (RCMP) was accused of fraud and bribery in February 2015. The activities of the company in Libya have been the subject of an investigation for a long time. Corruption and fraud are part of the payments.

"The corruption of foreign public officials is damaging to good governance and sustainable economic development. […] Today's payments show that the RCMP continues to support the international commitments of Canada and maintain its integrity and reputation, "said RCMP Regional Manager, Gilles Michaud, at the time.

So, we can understand Ms. Better Wilson-Raybould: the prime minister's office would have exceeded his powers by intervening in court proceedings. People in the company of Justin Trudeau have asked the Canadian Attorney General to find a friendly settlement with the Quebec company. However, the law prohibits the intervention of the executive power in a matter that is about justice, even if the border remains thin between intervention and government action. Announcing his letter, the minister wanted to get rid of Justin Trudeau's office.

The company's court case began in October 2018 before predominantly interfering. The SNC-Lavalin group is accused of paying $ 48 million (32 million euros) to Libya officials. Recently, the company's two former executives benefit from preventing the cause due to the long-term delay. In Canada, the Supreme Court's decision imposes a maximum of 30 months that a criminal trial must be held in the Superior Court.

Pollution in Libya at the heart of the scandal

The SNC-Lavalin Group and its subsidiaries are also accused of Libya's state deficit for 130 million dollars of Canada (87 million euros). Over the last 30 years, SNC-Lavalin has won dozens of multi-billion dollars public contracts in Libya. The Quebec company had developed close links with Saadi Kadhafi, one of the sons of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi. According to the RCMP, Saadi Gaddafi is one of the people who have most benefited from the bribes paid by the company.

In 2015, this case had already caused an excitement in Canada when the RCMP set official allegations against SNC-Lavalin. However, the company had been talking about it since 2012 because of its connections with Libya, who began to suspect. He repeated the case in the media when The Globe and Mail released its allegations on February 7.

Company that has been the news since 2012

Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned as Minister of Veterans Affairs on February 17th. She is now required to continue to be calm on this issue in the light of the law. To add to the suspicions that are already hanging over the government, chief councilor Justin Trudeau, Gerald Butts, resigned the following day. The last one still insists that he did not try to influence Mrs. Wilson-Raybould. A version of the facts that have no credibility according to the official opposition and many editors.

The official opposition leader, Andrew Scheer, believes that Justin Trudeau "acts as someone who has something to hide" since the resignation of his principal adviser.

In April 2018, the Trustees of the Criminal Code reformed for a compensation agreement (PSA) between the government and SNC-Lavalin. At times used in the United States, the intention of this agreement was to prevent criminal cases against the company. This agreement was not brought to this agreement. Did Jody Wilson-Raybould stop this agreement from being signed before leaving Justice?

The SCN-Lavalin scandal injures the Prime Minister of Canada in the surveys, he must be about to start the next election campaign. Will the opposition succeed in surfing this business until the elections have been scheduled for free later than the 2019 fall? In any case, the image of Justin Trudeau will be affected.

This scandal also shows the enormous importance of this engineering company in the Canadian economy and even globally. SNC-Lavalin provides jobs for 3,000 people in Quebec and more than 50,000 other people around the world. If the company is convicted of fraud and corruption, these posts are likely to be threatened.

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