Global Anti-Bribery & Corruption Body OECD ‘Closely Watching’ Liberals SNC-Lavalin Scandal
The OECD has said it will “closely monitor” twin investigations into whether the Canadian Prime Minister’s senior aides inappropriately pressured former justice secretary and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to drop criminal charges against the Quebec construction giant. Canada is one of 44 countries, including the UK, US and France, signed up to the international body’s anti-bribery convention which was set up to clamp down on global corruption. Member nations have a legal obligation to prosecute its own organisations and citizens involved in foreign bribery cases and the OECD’s statement has raised further questions about why Mr Trudeau’s top officials repeatedly urged Ms Wilson-Raybould to pursue a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) against SNC-Lavalin instead.
The Montreal-based engineering firm is accused of bribing Libyan officials with millions of dollars to secure contracts between 2001-2011.
If found guilty, SNC-Lavalin faces a 10-year ban on bidding for government contracts which Mr Trudeau fears could put thousands of jobs at risk.
However a DPA would allow the company to take financial penalties and adhere to stricter rules in exchange for escaping a criminal conviction.
Two weeks ago, Ms Wilson-Raybould testified before the Canadian House of Commons justice committee that she was subjected to a “consistent and sustained” campaign including “veiled threats” by members of the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the SNC-Lavalin case.