With his re-election bid just over two months away, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been jolted by a scathing report that said he had violated a conflict of interest law by exerting political pressure on a former attorney general to go easy on a multinational engineering firm that was being investigated for bribery.
Trudeau assumed responsibility for what had happened but disagreed with the conclusion of the country’s ethic commissioner on the case involving SNC-Lavalin.
The company is under investigation for allegedly bribing Libyan officials for contracts. The controversy is over attempts allegedly made by Trudeau’s PMO to influence then attorney general and justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to cut a deal to prevent prosecution of the company, which is based in the province of Quebec. “The prime minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms Wilson-Raybould,” ethics commissioner Mario Dion noted.