SNC-Lavalin to pay huge fine for activities in Libya after pleading guilty

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-19 04:51:20|Editor: yan
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MONTREAL, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- A division of Canada's SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. pleaded guilty to charge of fraud Wednesday and will pay a fine of 280 million Canadian dollars (about 213 million U.S. dollars).

The Quebec Superior Court in Montreal Wednesday accepted the guilty plea after prosecutors and lawyers for the Montreal-based engineering firm presented their joint sentencing argument, according to the court.

SNC-Lavalin Construction, a division of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., offered tens of millions of U.S. dollars to Saadi Gadhafi, son of then Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi for helping SNC-Lavalin secure lucrative construction projects in north African country between 2001 and 2011.

The SNC-Lavalin case thrust the Montreal-based company into the center of a political controversy earlier this year.

It revolved around then Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould's claim that she was pressured by people in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office to settle criminal charges against the company through a new legal tool comparable to a plea deal.

Wilson-Raybould eventually quit cabinet, and the party, over the case earlier this year.

An Ethics Commissioner's report of the Canadian Parliament concluded that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated ethics laws when he tried to persuade Wilson-Raybould to reverse her decision to not grant the agreement.

The construction company will have five years to pay the fine and will be on probation for three years.

In return, prosecutors will withdraw other corruption-related charges against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and its international marketing arm, SNC-Lavalin International Inc.

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. will have to engage an independent monitor who will provide initial and annual reports. Executive summaries of these documents will be posted on the company's website.