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Trudeau denies report about alleged intervention in SNC-Lavalin fraud case

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SNC-Lavalin
Canada   SNC-Lavalin

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denied on Thursday a report that his office intervened in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin on charges of fraud and corruption.

Trudeau told reporters that the allegations were "false," after Canadian national daily newspaper The Globe and Mail reported Thursday that officials in the prime minister's office tried to persuade former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould to settle fraud charges against SNC-Lavalin out of court.

Neither he nor anyone in his office "directed" Wilson-Raybould, or her successor David Lametti, "to take a decision in this matter" regarding the company's prosecution, said Trudeau.

The company, based in Canada's Quebec province, was charged with corruption and fraud in connection with payments of nearly 36 million U.S. dollars in bribes to public officials in the former Libyan government of late leader Muammar Gaddafi and defrauded Libyan organizations of an estimated 98 million dollars between 2001 and 2011.

The case is now before a court, and if convicted, SNC-Lavalin could be barred from competing for Canadian government contracts for up to 10 years.

As part of a cabinet shuffle last month, Trudeau reassigned Wilson-Raybould from the justice portfolio to become Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defense.


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