MONTREAL — A court of Quebec judge has ruled that SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is headed to trial on charges of fraud and corruption.The decision is the latest step in criminal proceedings that began last fall after the Montreal-based engineering and construction giant failed to secure a deferred prosecution agreement, a kind of plea deal that would have seen the firm agree to pay a fine rather than face prosecution.Over the past four months, SNC-Lavalin has found itself in the centre of a political controversy following accusations from former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould that top government officials pressured her to overrule federal prosecutors, who had opted not to negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement with the company. SNC-Lavalin’s sale of 407 hits new obstacles — including an $81-million bill and litigation SNC-Lavalin CEO Neil Bruce in the spotlight as ‘reputational hits’ keep coming for embattled company “SNC-Lavalin to step back from 15 countries, swear off fixed-price mining bids after $17 million loss” is locked SNC-Lavalin to step back from 15 countries, swear off fixed-price mining bids after $17 million loss SNC-Lavalin and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have argued that a criminal trial could trigger the company’s exit to the United States and the loss of thousands of jobs.The RCMP has accused SNC-Lavalin of paying $47.7 million in bribes to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011. The company, its construction division and a subsidiary also face one charge each of fraud and corruption for allegedly defrauding various Libyan organizations of $129.8 million.The company can choose a trial by jury or by judge alone. Prior to that, it can opt to apply within 30 days to the Superior Court of Quebec to have Wednesday’s lower court decision quashed.
Expressing deep concern over how migration and migrants themselves are being politicized and scapegoated in Hungary, an independent UN human rights expert on Wednesday urged the Government to immediately end its “crisis” approach to the issue.“Migrants are portrayed as dangerous enemies in both official and public discourses” said Felipe González Morales, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, in a statement released following the end of an official visit. He called on Hungary to “re-evaluate its current reality in relation to migration, terminate immediately the so-called ‘crisis situation’ and lift relevant restrictive measures.Listen to or download our audio News in Brief for 17 July on SoundCloud: Shadows of exclusion, social stigma, darken road to sustainable development Also, take a listen to or download our interview with Justice Edwin Cameron, appointed by Nelson Mandela as the first openly gay Judge on South Africa’s Constitutional Court, and widely seen as a hero for his fight to end all forms of inequality and exclusion. Audio available here and on SoundCloud. After visiting refugee camps in Jordan, UN-backed schools in Gaza, municipalities in Kosovo and Youth Councils in Denmark, the UN’s Youth Envoy visited the Security Council on Wednesday with a simple message from the field that “young people care about peace”.However, Jayathma Wickramanayake made clear that “young women and men still suffer from stereotypes, myths and policy panics that harm their agency and affect realizing their full potential for peace”. Read our full story here. ‘Exciting and potentially defining’ moment for Sudan, with people ‘taking power back’, says top UN Adviser With Sudan so much at the centre of the whole “volatile” Horn of Africa region, its political fate will have major “implications for a number of other quite vulnerable” neighbouring countries, according to the UN’s Special Adviser on the country.Nicholas Haysom, was recently in New York, and in an interview with UN News, spoke about how “resolving the Sudanese crisis would generate stability” for the entire region.Listen to or download the full interview with UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sudan, Nicholas Haysom, on SoundCloud: It’s time to find and arrest remaining war crimes fugitives – UN prosecutor More cooperation is needed to secure the arrest of fugitives charged with war crimes such as genocide, said the UN prosecutor for what is known as the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. Serge Brammertz told Security Council members on Wednesday, that the “first priority” of his office remains to quickly wrap up the trials and appeals of alleged war criminals from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, which fall under the Mechanism’s jurisdiction.With eight people still on the run, he said that “we are not yet receiving the cooperation needed to secure arrests”, although he noted a general lack of national capacity and the difficulties of tracking down international fugitives.Politicization of migrant ‘crisis’ in Hungary making them scapegoats, rights expert warns DR Congo Ebola outbreak now an international Public Health Emergency, UN health agency declares The second worst Ebola outbreak of all time, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was officially declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on Wednesday, with the head of the World Health Organization calling for countries to ‘take notice and redouble our efforts”. With the first anniversary of the complex outbreak in the volatile eastern part of the country looming, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that it was time to “work together in solidarity with the DRC to end this outbreak and build a better health system”, for its people.For our full coverage, click here.‘Young people care about peace’, declares UN Youth Envoy in Security Council chamber