Lethbridge Herald

Ex-SNC exec gets 8.5 years in prison


Former SNC-Lavalin executive Sami Bebawi was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison Friday, wrapping up the last of the criminal charges brought against the engineerin­g giant and its former employees involved in fraud and corruption in Libya.

Bebawi was impassive as he was sentenced by Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer, who explained he was opting for a penalty closer to the top of the scale given a number of aggravatin­g factors in the case.

The 73-year-old had been defiant as he entered the courtroom for sentencing while pulling a carry-on suitcase.

When a reporter yelled out whether other managers from the engineerin­g firm should be held to account and “fall on their swords,” he replied “definitely.”

A jury last month found the former head of SNC-Lavalin’s constructi­on division guilty of paying kickbacks to foreign officials and pocketing millions as he worked to secure contracts for the company beginning in the late 1990s.

The case centred on several major infrastruc­ture projects and dealings with Saadi Gadhafi, a son of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

The jury also heard Bebawi tried to pay off a subordinat­e to change his testimony so he could avoid prosecutio­n himself. Cournoyer pointed to several factors, including the sophistica­ted nature of the fraud, the degree of planning and premeditat­ion, and Bebawi’s behaviour after the infraction­s had been committed.

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