SNC-Lavalin corruption case: new court date set but plea for speedy trial dismissed

(January 28, 2013) India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told its special court last month that two of the accused in the notorious SNC-Lavalin hydro-dam graft case were “interfering” with the court’s decision to secure the presence of Klaus Triendl, the former vice-president of Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin and the sixth accused in the case. The two accused in question had requested the charge sheet be divided in order to facilitate the speedy trial of those who had already answered the summons of the court in connection with the case. The court has since dismissed their plea, however, saying there was no reason to think that the presence of Triendl could not be obtained within a reasonable time and set April 24, 2013 as the new date to hear the corruption case.

Indian authorities are seeking the extradition of former SNC-Lavalin vice-president Klaus Triendl for criminal conspiracy charges related to the awarding of a contract more than a decade ago to overhaul three hydro-electric dams in the southwestern state of Kerala. The Central Bureau of Investigation is reported to have revealed that the contract under scrutiny had been awarded at an “exorbitant rate” that had “caused a loss to the Kerala government with corresponding wrongful gain to Lavalin,” Canadas largest engineering and construction company. Judge T. S.P. Moosath accepted that the CBI has initiated the extradition of Mr. Triendl with the International Assistance Group of the Canadian Department of Justice and set a date for the case to be heard in April. A petition by Communist Party of India (Marxist) Kerala unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, a former power minister, and Siddhartha Menon, former chairman of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), to split the charge sheet was rejected.

According to internal Canadian government documents released under the Access to Information Act, Canada’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada, provided funding for the project.

SNC-Lavalin corruption case: Accused interfering with court order, says CBI

Published by The Hindu, December 18, 2012

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday told its special court here that two of the accused in the SNC-Lavalin corruption case were “in fact interfering with the decision of the honourable court to secure the presence” of Klaus Triendl, former vice-president of the Canadian company and the sixth accused in the case.

In his petition, Additional Superintendent of Police, CBI, Chennai, Y. Harikumar identified the accused as Pinarayi Vijayan, former Power Minister and State secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and Siddhartha Menon, former chairman of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).

The CBI requested the court to dismiss their plea to split charges and commence trial of those who had already answered the summons of the court “in view of the pending process of the extradition of A 6 (Klaus Triendl)”.

The agency also submitted that its special court had “never found that the presence of A 6 (Klaus Triendl) and A 9 (SNC-Lavalin) will not be secured or that they are absconding”.

The non-bailable warrant against Mr. Triendl could not be executed as he was a Canadian citizen. International law required the warrant to be executed through due process of extradition.

Mr. Triendl was a resident of house number 455, Rene-levesque Boulevard, West Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The CBI judge T.S.P. Moosath had initiated the extradition process with High Court sanction last year.

The Union Ministry of External Affairs had sent the extradition request to the International Assistance Group (IAG) of the Ministry of Justice, Government of Canada, in December 2011. The IAG has now requested for additional documents in respect of Mr. Triendl and submitted that the extradition request be sent in “two packages”.

The “packages” should contain a “record of the case, general legal statement supported by relevant documents and statements of witnesses with the certification of the trial court”.

The CBI would comply with the Canadian Government’s request and send another extradition request elaborating the “facts of the case”. It would support the request with “relevant documents and statements of witnesses” authenticated by the trial court.

The agency would submit the extradition request before its special court for “perusal and certification”. The request would include all the information sought by the Canadian Government.

The CBI also submitted that “only the foreign country can finally decide on the issue (of extraditing its citizen for trial in another country) even if the agency served the extradition request as per international agreements and provisions of the Extradition Act.

The CBI’s case was that the accused had hatched a criminal conspiracy among themselves and with the senior vice-president of SNC-Lavalin to award the contract to the Canadian company to renovate Pallivasal, Sengulam, and Panniar hydroelectric plants at a higher rate, thereby violating the law and causing a huge loss to the exchequer.

The CBI on June 11, 2009 had filed a charge sheet in its special court in Kochi arraigning the accused on charges of committing criminal conspiracy, cheating and violating the of Prevention of Corruption Act. The case was subsequently transferred to the CBI special court in Thiruvananthapuram.

For the original version of this article, see here.


Lavalin: Pinarayi loses plea for early trial

Published by Express News Service – Thiruvananthapuram, December 25, 2012

The CBI special court here on Monday dismissed CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan’s plea for beginning the trial in the SNC Lavalin case at the earliest by excluding the Lavalin company and its former vice-president Klaus Triendl in the case.

Judge T.S.P. Moosath observed the chargesheet cannot be divided. The court said that the CBI was making earnest attempts to procure the presence of Triendl. The prayer of the petitioner cannot be allowed at this stage, the court added.

Pinarayi had pleaded for dividing the charge sheet alleging that the CBI was at fault in implementing the warrant against Triendl. He alleged that the CBI had not taken effective steps to execute the order and that the trial of the case was being dragged endlessly which would deny a fair trial.

However, the court observed that it was not possible to arrive at a conclusion that the presence of Triendl before the court cannot be obtained within a reasonable time. It also said that the CBI had filed the report on completion of warrant conditions against the Lavalin company and Triendl.

The agency said the Canadian Government had sought additional evidence on the role of Triendl. ‘‘In these circumstances, the prayer to split the case cannot be allowed at this stage,’’ the CBI court said.

The case will again come up for hearing on April 24 when the other petitions will be taken up.

For the original version of this article, see here.

Further Reading

CBI court dismisses petition by CPI-M leader

Canadian government returned warrant in Lavalin case: CBI in court

Lavalin: Canada seeks additional proof against Klaus Triendl

Lavalin scam: Kerala CPM leader Pinarayi Vijayan asked to appear in court

SNC-Lavalin case: CBI court rules out further probe

CBI: no evidence against Pinarayi, Karthikeyan

L’Inde veut faire extrader un ex-dirigeant de
SNC-Lavalin accusé de corruption

Further probe against Pinarayi ‘improper:’ CBI

The Trace Compendium: SNC-Lavalin

SNC Lavalin case: SC issues notices to CBI, Kerala govt

Lavalin: Congress calls for shutdown in Kerala

CBI court dismisses petition by CPI-M leader

The ‘SNC Lavalin Case’ – Facts, Fallacies and Investigations

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