Former SNC-Lavalin executive found guilty of corruption in Libya

A jury has found SNC-Lavalin’s former head of international construction guilty on all five counts he faced, including fraud, corruption of foreign officials and laundering proceeds of crime, in relation to the company’s work for the regime of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Sami Bébawi, 73, faces sentencing hearings starting Thursday, 19 December after the verdict was handed down in a Quebec Superior Court on 15 December, reports CBC.

The Crown prosecution alleged that SNC-Lavalin transferred approximately C$113m to a shell company between the late 1990s and the end of the Gadhafi regime in 2011.

The prosecution’s main witness, another former SNC-Lavalin executive, Riadh Ben Aissa, told jurors the money was used to reward Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Saadi, for giving the company construction projects in the period totalling at least C$1.85bn.

Ben Aissa was arrested in 2012 and spent two years in prison in Switzerland before pleading guilty to bribing Libyan officials.

He told the jury that his activities in Libya had been approved by Bébawi, who was his superior.

He and Bébawi agreed to split whatever money was left after paying the ruler’s son, Ben Aissa told jurors.

According to CBC, the Crown alleged that Bébawi pocketed around C$26m.

Through his lawyers, Bébawi said he was paid legitimate bonuses authorised by the company’s former president, Jacques Lamarre.

Separately, SNC-Lavalin the company faces charges of fraud and corruption in Libya.

Image ©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

Further reading:

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News