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 approves hobby farm rezoning Aug. 8

Parcel hosts farm animal rescue operation

‘No Stone Left Alone’ returns to Wetaskiwin Nov. 2

Volunteers needed for poignant remembrance event

Wetaskiwin’s Horses of Hope event raised over $50,000

Organizers note 160 people attended charity dinner

Military posers insult real veterans: writer

Fake medals and bogus insignia insulting to service members

Two subdivisions given County of Wetaskiwin extensions

Both applicants given 12 month extensions to developments

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Most Read