It’s been a bad week for four senior Canadian executives as corruption, breach of trust and forgery charges were handed down in relation to the construction of a Montreal mega-hospital.
1. Arthur Porter, former Canadian spy watchdog
Once in charge of watching over Canada’s spy agency, Arthur Porter was named in an arrest warrant issued by Quebec’s anti-corruption squad for fraud in relation to the $1.3-billion construction of a Montreal mega-hospital.
— Site Glen (@siteGlen) February 27, 2013
Porter, a doctor and cancer specialist, was CEO of MUHC when authorities allege he accepted bribes from a consortium linked to SNC-Lavalin (a Canadian construction and engineering company) executives for the construction of the mega-hospital.
He left Canada before the charges were announced, and is thought to be in the Bahamas, undergoing treatment for a self-diagnosed cancer.
2. Riadh Ben-Aissa, former executive vice president at SNC-Lavalin
Also charged with corruption regarding MUHC is Riahd Ben-Aïssa, formerly the executive vice president of SNC-Lavalin.
Ben-Aïssa has been detained in Switzerland since April 2012 on charges of money laundering and influencing foreign officials for his role in ordering $160 million in kickbacks to Saadi Gaddafi, son of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, for several large SNC-Lavalin projects in Libya.
SNC-Lavalin executives, and potentially Ben-Aïssa, are believed to be under investigation for bribing Algerian officials to win contracts in that country.
3. Yanaï Elbaz, former associate director of the McGill University Health Centre
Yanaï Elbaz, a former MUHC administrator, was arrested Wednesday and charged with defrauding the government, money laundering and conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with contracts awarded for construction of the mega-hospital.
After an extended bidding process a consortium thought to be led by SNC-Lavalin won a 30-year, $1.3-billion contract to design, build and maintain the new state-of-the-art MUHC campus.
Fraud investigators believe Elbaz accepted more than $500,000 in bribes in exchange for the lucrative MUHC contracts.
He is thought to have used the money to help build a 5,000-square-foot, $1.7 million home in Montreal in 2007. That home was raided last year, and Elbaz resigned from MUHC in August 2011.
4. Pierre Duhaime, former CEO of SNC-Lavalin
Pierre Duhaime, the former CEO of SNC-Lavalin, also faces new corruption charges stemming from construction of the mega-hospital.
He was relieved of his duties in March of last year.
Duhaime was arrested last November by Quebec’s anti-corruption squad and ordered to remain within the province of Quebec.
He has since been given authorization to leave Quebec, but cannot leave Canada. A new arrest warrant has been issued for him, but he has not yet been taken into custody.