The Crown suggests the nine-year prison sentence for the former executive of SNC-Lavalin, Sami Bebawi

La Couronne suggère neuf ans de prison pour l'ex-cadre de SNC-Lavalin Sami Bebawi

The ex-vice-president of SNC-Lavalin, Sami Bebawi, was released pending sentencing by the judge of the superior Court of Québec, Guy Cournoyer.

December 19, 2019 22h12

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The Crown suggests the nine-year prison sentence for the former executive of SNC-Lavalin, Sami Bebawi

Dirk Meissner

The Canadian Press

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MONTREAL — a former executive of the engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, Sami Bebawi has tarnished Canada’s reputation and helped to perpetuate the dictatorial regime corrupted Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, said Thursday the federal prosecutor, Anne-Marie Manoukian in asking that he be sentenced to nine years in prison.

While directing the activities of the company in Libya, from the end of the 1990s, Bebawi has put in place a “scheme of fraud is complex” to ensure that SNC-Lavalin lucrative deals, and make millions of dollars, said to Me, Manoukian in the comments on the sentence before the judge of the superior Court of Quebec Guy Cournoyer.

Me Manoukian recommended that Bebawi is sentenced to nine years for fraud, 4.5 years for bribery of a foreign public official, and 45 months for the recycling of the proceeds of crime, the sentences being served concurrently. The only mitigating factor that could reduce her sentence, she said, is the age of Bebawi – he is 73 years old.

The defence argued that a sentence of six years imprisonment would be appropriate: six years for fraud, 3.5 years for bribery and three years for the recycling of the proceeds of crime, purged simultaneously.

Sunday, a jury returned a guilty verdict against the man in his seventies on all five counts of the indictment which he faced.

After four days of deliberations, the jurors recognized Bebawi guilty of fraud, recycling of the proceeds of crime, possession of stolen property and corruption of a foreign public official.

The prosecution alleged that SNC-Lavalin had transferred approximately $ 113 million to shell companies to pay people, including Saadi Gaddafi, son of deceased dictator Muammar Gaddafi, in order to win contracts in Libya, from the end of the 1990s.

The Crown argued at trial that what was left in the accounts after the payment of bribes and invoices was divided equally between Bebawi and his former subordinate, Riadh Ben Aissa, each pocketing $26 million.

The lawyer Bebawi, Annie Emond, has filed several letters in evidence, including some of his family and former colleagues. She said that they had talked about his good character and the fact that it had an excellent reputation prior to his arrest.

Me Emond has relied on the names of people well-known in Quebec, Vincent Lacroix and Earl Jones, who stole money and used their reputation to rip off innocent victims. No comparison is possible with Bebawi, she argues, because it was working for a multinational company promoted by the canadian government to do business in Libya.

The judge Cournoyer told him that he had trouble following it in its reflection. The fact that Libya was known to be a corrupt country does not excuse the actions of Bebawi, that Canada has or has not encouraged SNC-Lavalin to develop business relations with this country, has supported the magistrate.

Bebawi was released pending sentencing by the judge Cournoyer. The latter announced that it will issue its decision on 10 January.

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