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Canada’s OECD Article 5 Moment

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Article 5 of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions states: “Investigation and prosecution of the bribery of a foreign public official shall be subject to the applicable rules and principles of each Party. They shall not be influenced by considerations of national economic interest, the potential effect upon relations with another State or the identity of the natural or legal persons involved.”

As highlighted here and prior posts here and here, OECD Convention signatory countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom have seemingly violated Article 5 in connection with certain enforcement actions, so it is not surprising that Canada (also a signatory country) is also having an Article 5 moment.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Consistently damaged, across the pond, scrutiny alerts and updates, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

“Consistently Damaged”

In this 12 minute video, Neil Bruce (CEO and President of SNC-Lavalin) describes his frustration for how the company is not being offered a remediation agreement (Canada’s term for a deferred prosecution agreement) in connection with its long-standing scrutiny. (See here and here for prior posts).

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SNC-Lavalin Takes Its Pouting To The People With “An Open Letter To Canadians”

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These pages have long covered SNC-Lavalin’s pouting upon being criminally charged by Canadian authorities for alleged improper payments to Libyan officials. (See here and here for prior posts).

Yesterday, the company’s pout fest continued with this extraordinary “open letter to Canadians” along with two feel-good videos.

The open letter from Neil Bruce (President and Chief Executive Officer) states in full:

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SNC-Lavalin Continues To Pout

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But Mom / Dad, when Johnny gets into trouble his parents do things a little bit differently, why can’t I benefit from that?

That was my reaction in this February 2015 post when SNC-Lavalin was criminally charged by Canadian authorities for alleged improper payments to Libyan officials. Upon being charged, the company issued this release stating:

“It is important to note that companies in other jurisdictions, such as the United States and United Kingdom, benefit from a different approach that has been effectively used in the public interest to resolve similar matters while balancing accountability and securing the employment, economic and other benefits of businesses.”

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Canada’s “Africa Sting” Moment

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As noted in various reports, three executives of SNC-Lavalin Group (former SNC vice-president of energy and infrastructure Kevin Wallace, former SNC vice-president of international development Ramesh Shah, and Bangladeshi-Canadian businessman Zulfiquar Ali Bhuiyan) were recently acquitted in connection with a Bangladesh bribery scheme “after an Ontario judge threw out wiretap evidence key to the case, saying the wiretap applications were based on gossip and rumour.”

The recent development follows charges being dropped against two other defendants charged in the same case.

While not a perfect parallel, the recent failed prosecution north of the border is similar in certain respects to the DOJ’s failed, manufactured Africa Sting case.

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