Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is being investigated for illegally attempting to shield engineering firm SNC-Lavalin from criminal fraud and corruption charges involving millions of dollars in bribes to the Libyan government.
Trudeau claims he “welcomes” the probe, launched by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner on Monday after requests from two New Democrat MPs followed on the heels of an incendiary report published last week in the Globe and Mail that placed him at the center of what the Conservative opposition has termed an “unprecedented” effort to illegally influence a criminal proceeding.
When Wilson-Raybould refused to ask federal prosecutors to make the non-prosecution deal with SNC-Lavalin in December, according to the Globe and Mail, Trudeau essentially fired her, leaving her to wash up at Veterans Affairs, a significant demotion.
Conservative Leader Albert Scheer has led the charge to haul Trudeau’s aides and top members of his party in front of an emergency meeting of the justice committee for what he calls “unprecedented” attempts at influencing a criminal proceeding.
“Obviously Justin Trudeau’s trying to hide something,” Scheer said. “All we have to go on is his word.”
For the details of Trudeau’s involvement in tampering with the SNC-Lavalin case, however, all Scheer has to go on is an anonymously-sourced report in the Globe and Mail.
SNC-Lavalin was charged with paying out $48 million in bribes to Libyan officials in the decade leading up to the NATO-led overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s government in 2011, payments intended to influence government decision-making, though the company was also charged with defrauding Libyan companies of about $130 million.