POLITICS

Former SNC-Lavalin executive Ben Aissa gets bail in Montreal

11/19/2014 07:16 EST | Updated 01/19/2015 05:59 EST
MONTREAL - A former SNC-Lavalin senior executive was granted bail Wednesday on fraud-related charges in connection with a $1.3-billion superhospital project.

Bail was set at $250,000 for Riadh Ben Aissa, the engineering company's ex-head of construction.

He will also have to wear an electronic bracelet pending his next court proceedings.

Ben Aissa's preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 2015.

He faces 16 charges in connection with the McGill University Health Centre, one of Canada's largest infrastructure projects.

Ben Aissa and several other people, including former SNC chief executive Pierre Duhaime, allegedly committed fraud of $22.5 million in exchange for the company landing the $1.3-billion contract.

He arrived in Montreal last month after his extradition from Switzerland.

Swiss authorities announced recently they had accepted a deal and sentenced him to the 29 months he'd served in jail on fraud-related charges. They also ordered him to repay millions of dollars to the company.

Those charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering stemmed from SNC-Lavalin's business in Libya.

Ben Aissa acknowledged in court that he bribed Saadi Gadhafi, son of Libya's late dictator, Moammar Gadhafi, so SNC could win contracts. Ben Aissa also admitted to pocketing commissions.