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SNC-Lavalin postpones decision on trial by judge or jury in corruption case

SNC-Lavalin ordered to stand trial on fraud, bribery
WATCH: SNC-Lavalin ordered to stand trial on fraud, bribery (May 29)

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is pushing back its decision on whether to opt for a trial by jury or by judge alone in a corruption case that has tripped up the engineering giant and ensnared it in a political controversy for months.

Defence lawyer Francois Fontaine told the Court of Quebec on Friday he needs more time to make decision.

READ MORE: Charges against SNC-Lavalin explained — and how the PMO allegedly got involved

Last week a Quebec judge ruled there is enough evidence to send SNC-Lavalin to trial over charges of fraud and corruption, prompting a further tumble in the beleaguered firm’s share price.

The company has previously pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges. It is due back in court June 28.

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The Montreal-based company is accused of paying $47.7 million in bribes to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011.
SNC-Lavalin, its construction division and a subsidiary also face one charge each of fraud and corruption for allegedly defrauding various Libyan organizations of $129.8 million.

Since early February, SNC-Lavalin has been at the centre of a political controversy following accusations from former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould that top government officials pressured her to overrule federal prosecutors and negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement with the company.