The former CEO of SNC-Lavalin pleaded not guilty Monday in Canada to corruption charges.
Pierre Duhaime, 58, was arrested in November last year for fraud and forgery. The allegations were connected to at least two domestic projects. He left Canada’s biggest engineering firm in March 2012 after an internal audit found more than $50 million in payments to middlemen that couldn’t be traced to the performance of any services.
Duhaime did not appear in the Montreal court on Monday. His lawyer entered a plea on his behalf.
Police believe SNC-Lavalin paid $22 million to win a contract to build the McGill hospital now under construction in Montreal.
An affidavit prepared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police unsealed last month alleged that a former SNC-Lavalin executive arranged more than $160 million in bribes to the son of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in exchange for engineering contracts.
Riadh Ben Aissa, who was charged by Canadian authorities in November with fraud and corruption, arranged the massive payments to Saadi Gadhafi, 38, described in the affidavit as a friend of Ben Aissa.
Ben Aissa is in jail in Switzerland for suspicion of money laundering and bribery linked to at least two Canada projects.
In June last year, two other executives from SNC-Lavalin were charged in Toronto with bribing officials in Bangladesh in connection with bidding for the $1.2 billion Padma Bridge project in Bangladesh.
Ramesh Shah and Mohammad Ismail were arrested after a raid by Royal Canadian Mounted Police on SNC-Lavalin’s offices.