No one from the Prime Minister’s Office tried to help SNC-Lavalin avoid being charged with breaking campaign-financing rules, says elections commissioner Yves Cote. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

SNC-Lavalin delays jury decision in corruption trial until June 28

SNC-Lavalin on trial for charges of fraud and corruption

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is pushing back its decision on whether to opt for a trial by jury or by judge alone in a corruption case that has tripped up the engineering giant and ensnared it in a political controversy for months.

“I need more time to make the choice. It has to be decided by several people in the company,” defence lawyer Francois Fontaine told the Court of Quebec on Friday.

READ MORE: Judge rules SNC-Lavalin headed to trial on charges of fraud, corruption

“Because it’s an important decision,” he told reporters after the morning hearing. “It’s a big company. It’s necessary to take the time to analyze it carefully.”

Last week a Quebec judge ruled there is enough evidence to send SNC-Lavalin to trial over charges of fraud and corruption, prompting a further tumble in the beleaguered firm’s share price.

The company has previously pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.

SNC-Lavalin is due back in court June 28.

The Montreal-based firm is accused of paying $47.7 million in bribes to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011. SNC-Lavalin, its construction division and a subsidiary also face one charge each of fraud and corruption for allegedly defrauding various Libyan organizations of $129.8 million.

The court hearing in Montreal on Friday was the latest step in criminal proceedings that began last fall after SNC-Lavalin failed to secure a deferred prosecution agreement, a kind of plea deal that would have seen the firm agree to pay a fine rather than face prosecution.

Since early February, SNC-Lavalin has been at the centre of a political controversy following accusations from former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould that top government officials pressured her to overrule federal prosecutors and negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement with the company.

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Barrel series comes to an end

Winners finally awarded in after months of waiting

230 new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend

City of Red Deer has nine active cases

Conservatives call for Trudeau to testify at committee on WE Charity deal

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is already investigating whether Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Quebec police continue search for father, one day after missing girls found dead

Bodies were found in a wooded area of Quebec City suburb

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Father and his 9-year-old son rescued off of Miquelon Lake this weekend

Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP and EPS Air 1 rescue father and son on Miquelon Lake.

Canadian professional chuckwagon racer reflects on cancelled season

This year would have marked Troy Dorchester’s 28th year of racing.

Crowds in Sylvan Lake “commonplace” during summer months

The Town of Sylvan Lake looking for solutions from Province for large crowds not social distancing

Look out, Mars: Here we come with a fleet of spacecraft

Three countries sending unmanned spacecraft

Canmore RCMP respond to multiple hiking injury calls this weekend

EMS and RCMP responded to three separate and unrelated hiking accidents in Kananaskis Country.

Most Read