Advertisement
Crime

Former MUHC manager pleads guilty in SNC-Lavalin bribery case

Yanai Elbaz, front, and his brother Yohann Elbaz, left, arrive for their fraud trial at the courthouse in relation to the MUHC hospital Monday, November 26, 2018 in Montreal.
Yanai Elbaz, front, and his brother Yohann Elbaz, left, arrive for their fraud trial at the courthouse in relation to the MUHC hospital Monday, November 26, 2018 in Montreal. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

A former manager at the McGill University Health Centre pleaded guilty Monday to accepting a $10-million bribe in return for helping engineering firm SNC-Lavalin win the contract to build a major Montreal hospital and research centre.

Yanai Elbaz also pleaded guilty to four other charges including influence peddling, breach of trust and money laundering.

READ MORE: Anti-corruption police nab Montreal hospital contract fraud suspect at airport

Elbaz, who was a high-level aide to the late hospital CEO Arthur Porter, was handcuffed in the Montreal courtroom and transported to a detention facility.

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit accused Porter of accepting a $22.5-million bribe in connection with SNC-Lavalin winning the $1.3-billion contract to build the McGill centre.

But the disgraced executive, 59, died in Panamanian custody in 2015 without ever facing trial. He had been detained in Panama at Canada’s request two years earlier.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Charges officially dropped against Arthur Porter, two years after his death

Quebec authorities have described the hospital bribe scandal as the biggest corruption fraud in Canada’s history.

The Crown and defence made a joint suggestion to Superior Court Justice Claude Leblond that Elbaz serve 39 months in prison.

Elbaz’s brother, Yohann, who was a co-accused in the case, was acquitted on Monday. Prosecutors told Leblond they did not have enough evidence against him.

WATCH BELOW: Arthur Porter died in a Panamanian jail

Leblond has not yet decided on a sentence for Yanai Elbaz.

He will first hear arguments on Wednesday from lawyers representing the McGill University Health Centre as well as SNC-Lavalin. Both parties are seeking damages from Elbaz.

Global News Redesign Global News Redesign
A fresh new look for Global News is here, tell us what you think
Take a Survey