Canadian Consulting Engineer

SNC-Lavalin recognized as injured party in Ben Aissa case

SNC-Lavalin of Montreal said it was "pleased to have been recognized as an injured party" by the Swiss federal court judging bribery allegations of its former executive vice president, Riadh Ben Aissa.

October 7, 2014   Canadian Consulting Engineer

SNC-Lavalin of Montreal said it was “pleased to have been recognized as an injured party” by the Swiss federal court judging bribery allegations of its former executive vice president, Riadh Ben Aissa.

On October 1 Ben Aissa pleaded guilty in the Swiss court to funeling money to Saadi Gaddafi in order to obtain contracts in Libya for SNC-Lavalin. Saadi Gaddafi is the son of Muammar Gaddafi, former dictator of Libya.

SNC-Lavalin did millions of dollars worth of business in Libya in the 2000s, including working on the Great Man-Made River Project.

The Financial Post reported that Ben Aissa agreed as part of a plea bargain to surrender $47 million of improperly gained assets. SNC-Lavalin will get about a third of that amount.

SNC-Lavalin says it is also preserving its right to recover additional funds, and to “assert other civil claims against Mr. Ben Aissa in the future.”

Ben Aissa has been held in a Swiss jail since being arrested in April 2012, but will now likely be sent back to Canada to face charges of bribery in connection with the awarding of the McGill superhospital project to SNC-Lavalin. Another former executive, Stephane Roy, is also facing charges related to that project.

Under Robert G. Card, the president and chief executive officer now in charge of SNC-Lavalin, the company has restructured and implemented ethics and compliance programs.

In a press release dated October 1, Card said: “SNC-Lavalin’s goal is nothing less than to set a new standard for clean business in the engineering and construction industry. We’ve adopted a zero tolerance policy for ethics violations of any kind. We have the right people in place and systems and procedures which are designed to protect the company and its stakeholders from future fraudulent actions. Our relentless focus on outstanding business ethics is an important aspect of our ongoing transformation into a global Tier-1 engineering and construction company.”

To read SNC-Lavalin’s press release of October 1, click here.

To read a National Post report of October 1, click here.


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