MONTREAL – Fraud cases resume later this month against several former SNC-Lavalin executives charged in relation to the company’s contract to build a $1.3-billion Montreal hospital, nearly five years after charges were laid.
Former CEO Pierre Duhaime, who faces charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and using forged documents, declined to comment after a pretrial conference Friday.
Also appearing in court were former vice-president Riadh Ben Aissa, ex-CFO Stephane Roy and ex-McGill University executive Yanai Elbaz and his brother Yohann, all of whom face various fraud-related charges.
Quebec Court Judge Genevieve Graton imposed a publication ban on the proceedings Friday.
The accused aren’t required to attend the next hearing June 29.
The Montreal Gazette reported Thursday that the Crown prosecutor is anticipating that defence lawyers will invoke a Supreme Court ruling known as the Jordan decision because of how long it has taken for the cases to get to trial.
The high court ruling set a deadline of up to 30 months in superior courts and 18 months for cases at the provincial level.
Duhaime parted with SNC-Lavalin in March 2012, after an independent review found that he approved $56-million in payments to undisclosed agents. Duhaime and Ben Aissa are accused of paying $22.5 million in bribes to win the contract to build the McGill University Health Centre.