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Ex-SNC-Lavalin executive on trial for fraud, corruption won't present defence

Last Updated Dec 3, 2019 at 11:44 am PST

Former SNC-Lavalin vice-president Sami Bebawi leaves a courtroom in Montreal on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

MONTREAL — A former SNC-Lavalin executive on trial for fraud and corruption has decided not to present a defence.

Lawyers for Sami Bebawi informed the jury of their decision today.

Bebawi, 73, faces eight charges, including fraud, corruption, laundering proceeds of crime, possession of stolen goods and bribery of foreign officials.

The prosecution presented its final witness last Friday.

Bebawi has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which involve contracts tied to the Moammar Gadhafi dictatorship and centre on dealings with Gadhafi’s son, Saadi.

The prosecution sought to prove SNC-Lavalin transferred about $113 million to shell companies used to pay people — including the younger Gadhafi — in order to help the company secure contracts and collect money owed.

The Crown alleges what was left in those shell company accounts was split between and Bebawi and Riadh Ben Aissa, another former SNC-Lavalin executive who testified for the prosecution.

The trial began sitting Oct. 31 and was expected to last six weeks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Dec. 3, 2019.

The Canadian Press