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Fraud and international corruption trial starts for former SNC-Lavalin executive Sami Bebawi

Montreal (November 1, 2019) – The fraud and international corruption trial against former SNC-Lavalin executive Sami Bebawi started at the Montreal courthouse with the hearing of the first witness on October 31. In 2014, an RCMP investigation resulted in eight charges against Bebawi and led to charges against the Quebec engineering giant itself. Among other allegations, he is accused of paying nearly $48 million to Libyan officials in order to influence government decisions. Bebawi pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The former SNC-Lavalin executive, Sami Bebawi, stood in front of his jury for the first time on October 31. The 73-year-old was charged in 2014 following an RCMP investigation that was supported by Swiss authorities.

His charges include fraud, corruption, laundering proceeds of crime, bribery of foreign public officials and possession of stolen goods. The latter entails three bank accounts, a condo in Florida and two amounts of roughly $15 million and $12 million, according to the Montreal Gazette. Additionally, the investigation led to charges against the Quebec engineering giant, SNC-Lavalin, itself.

Bebawi’s fraud and international corruption trial started at the Montreal courthouse on October 31, after he pleaded not guilty to all charges. The 14 jurors were chosen earlier this week. Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer let the Crown call her first out of ten witnesses.

Former SNC-Lavalin executive, Riadh Ben Aissa took the stand as the main witness. Bebawi was Ben Aissa’s superior. In 2012, Ben Aissa was arrested in Switzerland where he agreed to collaborate with Canadian authorities.

Bebawi is accused of paying nearly $48 million in kickbacks and bribes to public officials in Libya to influence government decisions. He is the last of the former SNC-Lavlin executives standing on trial for the accusations in connection with the so-called SNC-Lavalin scandal.