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A corrupt ex-SNC-Lavalin executive is forced to hand himself over as a prisoner

A former SNC-Lavalin executive who took $28 million in bribes in Libya has failed in his attempt to quash his guilt. But small consolation for him, the appeals court gave him an additional 18 months to pay his $24.6 million fine.

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“The court orders [Sami Bebawi] to hand himself over to the prison authorities within 48 hours,” we read in the judgment of the Court of Appeals, delivered this Tuesday in Montreal.

The 76-year-old Bebawi therefore faces eight and a half years in prison for his crimes committed in the 2000s.

The defendant was then vice president of SNC-Lavalin and president of one of its divisions. However, following an international investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, it became clear that the former executive was corrupt.

“He embezzled public funds for personal gain. [en Lybie] on the occasion of the acquisition of major orders,” says the appointment decision.

And to make things go well, Bebawi and his accomplice Riadh Benn Aïssa paid “colossal bribes” to several people, including the son of then-Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafii.

“We are talking about more than $40 million handed over to Saadi Gaddafi, not to mention a $25 million yacht and a second worth more than $12 million,” the appeals court said.

For the federal crown it was clear that Bebawi had created a system “that should change the Libyan free market”. And the jury in charge of the ex-manager seems convinced, as Bebawi was eventually found guilty of fraud, concealment, money laundering and corruption of a Libyan official.

However, Bebawi challenged that ruling, including over elements in the infiltration operation that allowed it to support the prosecution’s evidence. However, his attempt was in vain.

However, Quebec’s highest court ruled that the six-month period for paying his fine was too short.

“We must ensure that the perpetrator has the necessary time to collect the funds,” the appeals court recalled. The sum is very impressive and the perpetrator is imprisoned, which further limits his scope of action.