SNC-Lavalin, the engineering firm at the centre of a political scandal engulfing the Liberal government, has lost its bid for a judicial review of the director of public prosecution’s decision to proceed with criminal prosecution of the company on corruption charges.
The company has been seeking a remediation agreement to avoid criminal proceedings related to bribery charges linked to contracts in Libya.
Today’s court decision means the Montreal-based engineering and construction firm can only get a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) now if Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti overturns the public prosecutor’s Oct. 9, 2018 decision.
The court ruling by federal judge Catherine Kane says the decision by the director of public prosecutions is not an administrative decision but an exercise of prosecutorial discretion, “which is not subject to judicial review, except for abuse of power.”
A remediation agreement, according to the ruling, is defined as “an agreement, between an organization accused of having committed an offence and a prosecutor, to stay any proceedings related to that offence if the organization complies with the terms of the agreement.”
The court acknowledged that the threshold to strike an application for judicial review is high, but found that the threshold had been met.
Former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould has alleged she faced intense political pressure and veiled threats from various government officials to overturn the public prosecution director’s decision to proceed with criminal charges.
This story originally appeared on CBC