It calls for the end of the proceedings for corruption

News 17 March, 2018
  • Photo Martin Alarie
    Sami Bebawi, a former senior executive of SNC-Lavalin accused of fraud, has sworn to the court, yesterday, in Montreal, having lost his friends and his family since he has been accused.

    Michael Nguyen

    Friday, 16 march, 2018 19:29

    Friday, 16 march, 2018 19:29

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    A former senior executive of SNC-Lavalin charged with corruption who said he lost his wife, his family and his friends find that he is waiting for his trial for too long and is now asking for the proceedings to be stayed.

    “At Christmas, I received no call, no invitation, I was sitting watching the television… there were no friends, nothing,” testified Sami Bebawi to the court Friday at the palace of Montreal.

    Visibly emotional and sometimes speaking in the third person, the accused 71-year-old has great length to explain all the consequences of the charges in 2014 have had on his personal life.

    “I am completely isolated, it is the agony of living alone… I do not understand how the citizen Bebawi may be accused of corruption “, he said.

    At SNC-Lavalin, an engineering consulting firm, Bebawi was a vice-president in charge of projects in Libya. He is accused of defrauding his ex-employer for millions of dollars.

    The crimes allegedly took place between 2001 and 2010.

    An arrest warrant had been launched in January 2014, and even if he was in Egypt, where there is no extradition treaty with Canada, he had made of himself.

    Since then, Bebawi proclaimed his innocence. But if his trial should take place next year, he found the waiting much too long. It has, therefore, relied on the judgment in Jordan of the supreme Court, that limits the time before a defendant is adjudicated.

    “Mr. Bebawi is of the opinion that his right to be tried within a reasonable time was violated and that the procedures are far from over, said his lawyer Alexandre Bergevin. Only a stay of proceedings is the remedy just and fair. “


    During his testimony Friday, Bebawi said to have virtually no links with his children and grand-children.

    “I am told that my situation was affecting our relationship “, he said.

    Bebawi, who was earning around $ 1 million per year, has had to borrow money to pay his lawyer fees.

    He has tried to teach at Concordia University ” to “take care of”, but it was rejected by the dean.

    And to add to his misfortune, the accused person has been struck by cancer during the pending trial.

    “It was the most painful of my life,” he said, speaking of the chemotherapy.

    Not surprisingly, the federal Crown opposes the application for stay of proceedings.

    The judge Guy Cournoyer will make its decision next month.