Crown says former SNC-Lavalin exec Bebawi should be sentenced to nine years

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MONTREAL—Former SNC-Lavalin government Sami Bebawi tarnished Canada’s name and served perpetuate the corrupt dictatorial regime of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, federal prosecutor Anne-Marie Manoukian reported Thursday as she questioned that he be sentenced to nine several years in jail.

Bebawi, 73, was convicted by a jury Sunday on five charges like fraud, corruption of foreign officers and laundering proceeds of criminal offense.

All through his time managing the company’s functions in Libya, starting in the late 1990s, Bebawi set up a “complex fraud scheme” to secure SNC-Lavalin profitable contracts and pocketed thousands and thousands of dollars, Manoukian claimed in sentencing arguments just before Quebec Excellent Court Justice Male Cournoyer.

“Consider the vulnerability of the victims,” Manoukian explained to the judge, referring to the citizens of the Libyan dictatorship. “They are foreigners, but that does not make it any considerably less significant. It not only tarnished the graphic of Canada but also served to perpetuate the routine in position.

“This is a pretty really serious crime.”

Manoukian encouraged he be sentenced to nine yrs for fraud, 4.5 yrs for corruption of overseas officials and 45 months for laundering the proceeds of criminal offense, with the sentences becoming served concurrently. The only attenuating variable that could lessen his sentence, she explained, is Bebawi’s age.

The defence countered that a 6-calendar year prison term would be proper: six many years for fraud, 3.5 years for corruption and a few a long time for laundering the proceeds of crime, served concurrently.

Bebawi’s attorney, Annie Emond, entered a number of letters into proof, including some from his relatives and former colleagues. She reported they spoke to his character and the reality he had a stellar popularity before he was arrested.

A jury observed Sami Bebawi guilty of all 5 expenses he faced on its fourth day of deliberations. The situation centred on several major infrastructure assignments and dealings with Saadi Gadhafi, a person of the sons of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Prosecutors offered proof that SNC-Lavalin transferred about $113 million to shell organizations utilized to pay off folks, which includes Saadi Gadhafi. Between the kickbacks to the youthful Gadhafi was a U.S.-produced luxury yacht — the Hokulani — purchased for $25 million.

What remained in the accounts of those corporations soon after the kickbacks had been compensated was then break up amongst Bebawi and Riadh Ben Aïssa, a former colleague, with Bebawi allegedly getting about $26 million. Ben Aïssa turned on his previous boss and grew to become the Crown’s star witness.

Emond invoked the names of notorious Quebec fraudsters Vincent Lacroix and Earl Jones, who stole cash and made use of their reputations to scam innocent victims. Bebawi, she explained, was as opposed to them, for the reason that he was doing work for a multinational that was inspired by the Canadian federal government to do organization in Libya.

Cournoyer told her he had a hard time pursuing her argument. The truth Libya was known to be a corrupt nation does not excuse Bebawi’s steps, he reported, no matter whether or not Canada inspired SNC-Lavalin to create organization ties there.

Emond extra that the Libyan state did not experience any obvious losses. She claimed SNC-Lavalin provided the place strong infrastructure and Libya nevertheless owes the enterprise about $100 million.

Once more, the choose mentioned he did not abide by her. “I really do not know how to just take your argument,” Cournoyer reported. “It’s like you’re indicating to the victim: ‘I defrauded you, but it’s not that terrible since you continue to owe me cash.’ “

Bebawi didn’t address the decide right but submitted a assertion in producing.

He told the court docket he was “profoundly sorry for the agony I triggered my young children, their spouses and the 8 grandchildren, angels whom the Lord gave us to make us respect a lot more how lucky we are. That in by itself, might be the most extreme punishment I will experience.”

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He finished his letter by stating: “I have gone as a result of detention, devastatingly unpleasant throat and tongue most cancers, and felt the crushing pressure of the regulation and its associates. Rest certain, I have uncovered a good deal through this method. I am truly humbled.”

Bebawi is free pending sentencing, and Cournoyer explained he will rule on the sentence on Jan. 10.

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