No one from the Prime Minister’s Office tried to help SNC-Lavalin avoid being charged with breaking campaign-financing rules, says elections commissioner Yves Cote. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

SNC-Lavalin delays jury decision in corruption trial until June 28

SNC-Lavalin on trial for charges of fraud and corruption

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is pushing back its decision on whether to opt for a trial by jury or by judge alone in a corruption case that has tripped up the engineering giant and ensnared it in a political controversy for months.

“I need more time to make the choice. It has to be decided by several people in the company,” defence lawyer Francois Fontaine told the Court of Quebec on Friday.

READ MORE: Judge rules SNC-Lavalin headed to trial on charges of fraud, corruption

“Because it’s an important decision,” he told reporters after the morning hearing. “It’s a big company. It’s necessary to take the time to analyze it carefully.”

Last week a Quebec judge ruled there is enough evidence to send SNC-Lavalin to trial over charges of fraud and corruption, prompting a further tumble in the beleaguered firm’s share price.

The company has previously pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.

SNC-Lavalin is due back in court June 28.

The Montreal-based firm is accused of paying $47.7 million in bribes to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011. SNC-Lavalin, its construction division and a subsidiary also face one charge each of fraud and corruption for allegedly defrauding various Libyan organizations of $129.8 million.

The court hearing in Montreal on Friday was the latest step in criminal proceedings that began last fall after SNC-Lavalin failed to secure a deferred prosecution agreement, a kind of plea deal that would have seen the firm agree to pay a fine rather than face prosecution.

Since early February, SNC-Lavalin has been at the centre of a political controversy following accusations from former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould that top government officials pressured her to overrule federal prosecutors and negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement with the company.

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

County of Wetaskiwin assumes control of weed-problem property

Council voted ‘reclamation’ of Von Arx’ property at June 6 meeting

AMBER ALERT: Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Donation provides City of Wetaskiwin residents with free reusable bags

John Maude and Susan Quinn Charitable Foundation donated $15,000 to city

City of Wetaskiwin receives finalized rural homelessness report

Fifty percent of respondents felt their housing situation was unstable

County of Wetaskiwin tweaks policy for collecting unpaid firefighting bills

Unpaid firefighting fees can be added to tax bill after certain court process

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Calgary man facing charges after B.C. police service dog aids in arrest

Heavy police presence results in PSD Jagger finding suspect

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Wildfires have forced more than 9,000 people from homes in northern Alberta

People in other communities remain on evacuation alert and could be told to leave quickly

Pride divided: Edmonton leadership under pressure as LGBTQ community looks to future

Most of the conflict can be traced back to 2016 Toronto Pride when Black Lives Matter staged a protest

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

Most Read