SNC-Lavalin division found guilty of fraud over Libya activities

SNC-Lavlin. [Photo: Social Media]

A division of Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin has pleaded guilty to a single fraud charge related to its Libya dealings between 2001 and 2011.

The plea comes as part of a settlement that saw other charges faced by the Montreal-based company withdrawn.

The firm’s construction division will pay a C$280m ($213m; £163m) fine and faces a probation period.

The case embroiled Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a political crisis last year.

In August, a federal ethics commissioner found Mr Trudeau had breached ethics rules by improperly trying to influence a former minister in the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould had accused Mr Trudeau and his staff of spending months trying to convince her that taking SNC-Lavalin to trial would cost Canadians jobs, and their party votes.

Mr Trudeau has maintained that he was looking to protect jobs after the company warned a conviction at trial risked damaging its business.

The company and two of its subsidiaries were facing fraud and corruption charges in relation to bribes offered to Libyan officials between 2001-11.

SNC-Lavalin had openly lobbied for an agreement that would allow it to avoid prosecution and instead face alternative penalties. It has said it had cleaned house and changed its ways since 2012.

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