Canadian PM denies report about alleged intervention in SNC-Lavalin fraud case

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"It's quite clear there is a cover-up going on", said Scheer on the situation. "This is a construction company and what it's registering what its conservations are about are justice issues".

The allegation raises multiple thorny questions: How independent is the federal prosecution service from political influence?

The Globe reported that PMO aides leaned heavily on Wilson-Raybould to persuade the federal director of public prosecutions to negotiate a "remediation agreement" with SNC-Lavalin as a way of holding it to account for wrongdoing by some of its executives, rather than pursuing a criminal prosecution that could financially hobble the company.

"On one hand, it was meant to enhance integrity in government by statutorily ensuring independence of the prosecution decision-making function from inappropriate political control, direction and influence", the book says.

SNC-Lavalin faces legal trouble over allegations it paid millions of dollars in bribes to obtain government business in Libya, which would be a crime under Canadian law.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called The Globe's reporting about pressure exerted by the PMO on Ms. Wilson-Raybould "incredibly disturbing".

"Canadians deserve a government that is on their side, not on the side of a massive multinational corporation with deep ties to the Liberal Party", said Singh.

NDP MP Murray Rankin, co-chair of the justice committee, said the committee chair sent out a notice that a meeting would be held by next Wednesday. The move surprised lawmakers who had been studying the budget bill for the House of Commons finance committee. "Given past Liberal scandals..."

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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer holds a press conference on Parliament Hill on February 8, 2019. "This is not what we are seeing here", Mr. Scheer said.

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Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of the justice portfolio last month, with Trudeau naming her veterans affairs minister.

"If the prime minister has nothing to hide as he has suggested then he should have no reason to fear these individuals appearing before the justice committee", Scheer said on Parliament Hill.

Trudeau is denying the allegations.

"As the former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, I am bound by solicitor-client privilege in this matter", she said. The Conservatives' Scheer and the New Democrats' Singh both called Friday for an ethics probe into the allegations. "MPs have a duty to determine what exactly happened here and Justin Trudeau and his office must be forthcoming".

On the matter of issuing directives to the director of public prosecutions (or "DPP"), the document says: "It is appropriate for the attorney general to consult with cabinet colleagues before exercising his or her powers under the DPP Act in respect of any criminal proceedings, in order to fully assess the public policy considerations relevant to specific prosecutorial decisions".

Democracy Watch suggested other possible violations of the act, including a provision stating that elected officials must not use their positions to improperly influence decisions.

"Neither the current nor the previous attorney general was ever directed by me, or by anyone in my office, to take a decision in this matter", Trudeau said on Thursday.

While SNC-Lavalin has the right to be assumed innocent and to a fair trial, it has "no right or entitlement" under common or criminal law to be invited to negotiate a remediation agreement, the director said.

"At no point has the current minister of justice, or the former minister of justice, been pressured or directed", Arif Virani said.

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