BUSINESS

Fraud case against SNC-Lavalin put off until October

07/03/2015 11:07 EDT | Updated 07/03/2016 05:59 EDT
MONTREAL - The criminal fraud case against engineering giant SNC-Lavalin has been put off until Oct. 16 after the disclosure of additional evidence to the defence.

Crown prosecutor Richard Roy said Friday that defence lawyers have received about 1,000 new documents.

Initially, there were some 5,000 pieces of evidence.

The RCMP alleges that SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) paid nearly $47.7 million to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011 to influence government decisions.

It also charged the company, its construction division and its SNC-Lavalin International subsidiary with one charge each of fraud and one of corruption for allegedly defrauding various Libyan organizations of about $129.8 million.

SNC has said it will plead not guilty and that the charges stem from the same alleged activities of former employees who face criminal charges.

The company has filed a lawsuit seeking to recover more than $127 million it alleges was embezzled by two former senior executives and their associates.

It is seeking payment mainly from former construction vice-presidents Riadh Ben Aissa and Sami Bebawi.

SNC says it's claiming money that was tied to two projects but allegedly funnelled to entities that were secretly owned by Ben Aissa.

None of the claims in the April filing has been proven in court.

The lawsuit is in addition to SNC's efforts to recover $22.5 million allegedly paid to Ben Aissa and others related to a Montreal hospital construction contract.