The prime minister was singled out for pressuring to prevent a company from being sued for bribery and fraud. The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, rejected the resignation requests for a scandal that is affecting his government, saying that he and his staff always acted properly and that the Canadians will express their opinion on the matter in the federal elections in October.
Trudeau’s comments came after the former Justice Minister of Canada and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould described a constant, sustained and inappropriate effort on the part of senior officials close to the prime minister who tried to dissuade her from prosecuting a Canadian engineering company. accused of bribery.
In a heartbreaking testimony before the justice committee on Wednesday, Wilson-Raybould said the pressure on her included “covert threats” if she did not accept. “I experienced a sustained and sustained effort on the part of many people within the Government to try to interfere politically in the exercise of fiscal discretion in my role as Attorney General of Canada in an inappropriate effort,” she said in his opening statement. In early February, the Globe and Mail reported that advisers close to the prime minister had pressured Wilson-Raybould to abandon his plans to prosecute the Quebec-based engineering company SNC Lavalin on allegations of fraud and bribery. Instead, they requested that she seek a “deferred processing agreement” that would allow the company to pay a fine.
Wilson-Raybould said she was under “harassment” by members of the Government. According to the contemporary notes taken after each interaction, Wilson-Raybould recalled 10 phone calls and 10 meetings related to the case. “Are you interfering politically with my role as attorney general? I would strongly recommend that he not do so, “Wilson-Raybould reminded the prime minister. “No, no, no, we just need to find a solution,” she said, remembering the prime minister’s response.
The Trudeau government has been on the defensive since the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on February 7 that Trudeau or his staff pressured her to try to avoid criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin for corruption allegations related to government contracts in Libya.
The minister, who took office in January after leading the Justice portfolio since November 2015, has been in the last few days at the center of a scandal over the information in the newspaper ‘Globe and Mail’ about Trudeau’s attempts to avoid opening of a case against a Canadian company in connection with a series of contracts in Libya. Cameron Ahmad, spokesman for the prime minister’s office, has confirmed that the resignation of Wilson-Raybould has been accepted and that Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan will occupy the position on an interim basis, according to local television network CBC. The resignation of the minister also took place one day after the Ethics Commissioner announced that she had asked to open an investigation into Trudeau’s actions in this case.