Canada court finds no proof of Padma bridge bribery conspiracy
10:40 AM, February 11, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:47 PM, February 15, 2017

Canada court finds no proof of Padma bridge bribery conspiracy

Ontario Superior Court acquits ex-SNC-Lavalin executives, dismisses case

Three former top executives of SNC-Lavalin have been acquitted in an international bribery case linked to Padma bridge construction in Bangladesh.

An Ontario Superior Court justice dismissed the case yesterday at the prosecution's request, reports CBCNews.

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Kevin Wallace, Ramesh Shah, and Zulfiquar Ali Bhuiyan had pleaded not guilty.

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The case related to alleged bribery of foreign officials about the Padma bridge construction contract in Bangladesh.

Last month, Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer ruled that wiretap evidence had to be excluded.

As a result, the prosecution on Friday elected to call no evidence and the accused were acquitted, a prosecution spokeswoman said.

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Wallace, a former vice-president, was initially arrested and charged in 2013.

In June 2012, the World Bank cancelled its $1.2 billion credit for the Padma bridge project, saying it had proof of a "corruption conspiracy" involving Bangladeshi officials, executives of a Canadian firm and some individuals.

READ more: WB scraps Padma loan

On December 17 of the year, Bangladesh's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a graft conspiracy case with Banani Police Station in Dhaka against Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, ex-Bridges Division secretary; Kazi Mohammad Ferdous, the then superintendent engineer of Bangladesh Bridge Authority, and Reaz Ahmed Zaber, the then executive engineer of the Roads and Highways Department.

The accused also include former local agent of SNC-Lavalin Mohammad Mostofa and its ex-officials Mohammad Ismail, Ramesh Shah and Kevin Wales.

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The WB had accused SNC-Lavalin of conspiring to bribe ex-communications minister Syed Abul Hossain and several officials and individuals of Bangladesh to get the consultancy job of the project.

READ more: WB to help build Padma indirectly

The ACC in its probe report submitted to the court in September 2014 cleared all the accused in the case of the conspiracy charges, saying none had been found guilty.

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