Montreal

Sami Bebawi, former SNC-Lavalin exec, released on $200K bail

A former top executive from engineering firm SNC-Lavalin who is accused of several charges including fraud, bribery and extortion has been released on $200,000 bail.

Former VP construction for engineering firm accused of fraud, extortion, bribery, money laundering and more

File photo: SNC-Lavalin is an international engineering and construction firm headquartered in Montreal. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

A former top executive from engineering firm SNC-Lavalin has been released on $200,000 bail after appearing at the Montreal courthouse Friday.

Sami Bebawi is charged with fraud, extortion, bribing a foreign official. obstruction of justice, possession of the proceeds of a crime and money laundering.

Sami Bebawi is accused of bribing a foreign official and fraud. (SNC-Lavalin)

The 68-year-old Bebawi is suspected of laundering $33 million between 2001 and 2012 through international projects.

Although Canada and Egypt have no extradition agreement, Bebawi chose to return to Canada voluntarily — to clear his name, said Canadian lawyer Alexandre Bergevin — on Thursday.

He is facing numerous accusations that include allegedly attempting to extort former colleague Riadh Ben Aissa.

In 2013, Radio-Canada's investigative program Enquête reported that Bebawi had been detained in Switzerland for allegedly bribing one of deceased Libyan dictator Moammar Ghadafi's sons.

Those allegations have yet to be tested in court.

Ben Aissa claimed Bebawi offered him money in exchange for Ben Aissa backing up testimony given to Swiss authorities. Based on these allegations, the RCMP obtained wiretap warrants for Bebawi and his lawyer Constantine Kyres, who is also facing charges.​

Ben Aissa is also facing fraud-related charges in connection with the McGill University Health Centre superhospital scandal. Bebawi's charges are not related to the MUHC affair.

Conditions of Bebawi’s release include reporting to the RCMP every two weeks and obtaining the RCMP’s authorization for any international travel. He also had to list all the properties he owns around the world.

The RCMP has frozen several of his properties and bank accounts, including six properties in Montreal.

As a condition of his release, Bebawi must either live at his son’s in St-Lambert, or at his second home in Brownsburg-Chatham, Que.

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