Corruption

Indian high court splits trial charge sheet in SNC-Lavalin graft case

(June 27, 2013) The Kerala High Court has directed India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to divide the SNC-Lavalin trial charge sheet so the trial can begin. Two of the nine accused, SNC-Lavalin VP Klaus Triendl and SNC-Lavalin itself, have failed to appear in court despite several summons.  According to press reports, Indian authorities are now seeking the extradition of Mr. Triendl, but Canada’s Department of Justice won’t confirm or deny the existence of the extradition request “due to the confidential nature of state-to-state communications.”

CBI told to split SNC Lavalin trial charge sheet

Published by the Business Standard on June 18, 2013

The Kerala High Court Tuesday directed that the trial in the SNC Lavalin case, in which CPI-M leader Pinarayi Vijayan is an accused, can go ahead by splitting the charge sheet.

The court’s order came while hearing a petition from Vijayan, the party’s state secretary, stating that the trial is yet to begin because two of the accused in the case are yet to be given the charge sheet.

Of the nine accused, the then SNC Lavalin vice president, Claus Trendl [sic] and the company are the two who are yet to be given the charge sheet, nor have they appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) trial court here.

The CBI had in June 2009 filed charge sheets against nine accused in the Rs.374 crore scam related to the Canada-based SNC Lavalin company, which was given a contract to renovate three power plants in the state. Vijayan, as the state power minister, had inked the final agreement with the Canadian firm in 1997.

The CBI wanted that the trial should begin on a single charge sheet but all these years, despite their best efforts, were unable to bring the remaining two accused before the law thus delaying the start of the trial.

Vijayan is currently on bail and this case had generated huge interest because it was the first time ever that a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member had to appear before a court to secure bail in a corruption case.


More on this story

HC orders CBI to begin early trial in SNC Lavalin case

by Shaju Philip 

Published by The Indian Express on June 19, 2013

The Kerala High Court Tuesday ordered the CBI court to start an early trial in the SNC Lavalin graft case in which CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan is the seventh accused. The order comes as a relief to Vijayan who has been demanding a speedy trial so that he can return to electoral politics.

The case pertains to alleged corruption in the renovation of the three hydel power projects awarded to Canadian firm SNC Lavalin. Vijayan moved the HC after the CBI court in the state capital rejected his plea to start an early trial after excluding the company SNC Lavalin and its vice-president, Klaus Triendl, both listed as accused.

The charge sheet filed in 2009 has named Triendl as sixth accused and the company itself as the ninth accused. Another Sidhartha Menon too had moved a similar plea.

Vijayan contended that four years after framing charges, the CBI has failed to secure the presence of Lavalin representative. The company executives had not appeared in the court despite the several summons.

Vijayan’s counsel alleged that the CBI was delaying the trial and that the case has “endangered his bright and brilliant political career”.

The HC admitted Viajayan’s contention that a speedy trial for an accused was a fundamental right. Judge C T Ravikumar directed the CBI to start trial and file separate chargesheet against the company and its vice-president.


An email exchange between the Department of Justice, Government of Canada, to an inquiry from Patricia Adams of Probe International for more information

On 29 January 2013 14:40, Saindon, Carole <Carole.Saindon@justice.gc.ca> wrote:

Good afternoon,

I am told you called the department looking for information on the Canadian extradition process.

Can you provide specific questions and I will be happy to follow up.

Regards,
Carole Saindon
Justice Canada Communications

From: Patricia Adams, patriciaadams002@gmail.com
Sent: 2013-Jan-29 4:43 PM
To: Saindon, Carole
Subject: Re: Your inquiry /extradition

Dear Ms. Saindon,

Thank you for returning my message.

I understand from Indian news coverage (“SNC-Lavalin corruption case: Accused interfering with court order, says CBI,” The Hindu) that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has sent a request to the International Assistance Group (IAG) of the Department of Justice, Government of Canada for the extradition of former SNC-Lavalin senior vice-president Klaus Triendl in regards to 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. I also understand from this New Indian Express article, “Lavalin: Canada seeks additional proof against Klaus Triendl,” that the IAG responded by asking for further details before the extradition request could be considered.

Could you:

  1. confirm that the IAG has asked the Indian authorities to submit more information before the extradition request can be considered;
  2. describe the additional information that the IAG has requested, or release the IAG’s response to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ request as described in the article cited above;
  3. state whether that additional information has been provided by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs or authorities;
  4. explain the stage reached to date in this extradition request;
  5. explain what subsequent steps will be taken in this extradition request; and
  6. release any decisions taken to date by the IAG.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,
Patricia Adams

From: Web Administrator <Webadmin@justice.gc.ca>
Date: 11 February 2013 15:11
Subject: Your inquiry /extradition
To: patriciaadams002@gmail.com

Hello Ms. Adams,

Your email to Carole Saindon was forwarded to the Public Inquiries unit for response.

Due to the confidential nature of state-to-state communications,  the Department of Justice is not in a position to confirm or deny the existence of an extradition request in this or any other matter.

Regards,
Web Administrator/Administrateur du site Web
Department of Justice / Ministère de la Justice
284 Wellington Street/284 rue Wellington
Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0H8
WebAdmin@justice.gc.ca
www.canada.justice.gc.ca

Background News

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

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