Former SNC-Lavalin executive Sami Bebawi sentenced to 8 years in prisonChristian Fernsby ▼ | January 11, 2020
Former SNC-Lavalin executive Sami Bebawi was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison yesterday.
Canadian businesses Sami Bebawi
Topics: SNC-Lavalin prison
Bebawi was impassive as he was sentenced by Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer, who explained he was opting for a penalty closer to the top of the scale given a number of aggravating factors in the case.
The 73-year-old had been defiant as he entered the courtroom for sentencing while pulling a carry-on suitcase.
When a reporter yelled out whether other managers from the engineering firm should be held to account and "fall on their swords,'' he replied: "definitely.''
A jury last month found the former head of SNC-Lavalin's construction division guilty of paying kickbacks to foreign officials and pocketing millions as he worked to secure contracts for the company beginning in the late 1990s.
The case centred on several major infrastructure projects and dealings with Saadi Gadhafi, a son of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
The jury also heard Bebawi tried to pay off a subordinate to change his testimony so he could avoid prosecution himself.
Cournoyer pointed to several factors, including the sophisticated nature of the fraud, the degree of planning and premeditation and Bebawi's behaviour after the infractions had been committed.
The federal prosecutors who brought the case to trial were satisfied with the sentence, saying it brought a message of deterrence and denunciation. ■