Scorecard: Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Kathleen Roussel and deposed attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who so resolutely backed her, 1, SNC-Lavalin 0.
That’s the bottom line of a stinging Federal Court of Canada decision released Friday.
It’s a major victory for the DPP and Wilson-Raybould, affirming the importance and need both for the attorney general’s independence and the obligation of prosecutors to operate, and here Federal Court Judge Catherine Kane quoted from an earlier Supreme Court of Canada decision, “without fear of judicial or political interference…”
The 89-page decision granted Roussel’s motion to strike (or dismiss) SNC-Lavalin’s application for judicial review of Roussel’s decision not to grant the global engineering and construction company a deferred prosecution agreement, or DPA.
As the country knows well by now, it was Roussel’s decision last Sept. 4 (reiterated to SNC on Oct. 9) to continue prosecuting SNC-Lavalin on fraud and bribery charges and not invite the company to the negotiating table to work out a deal that led to the imbroglio that has enveloped the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
It was that decision the company sought to overturn at the Federal Court; it also wanted Roussel to be ordered to invite SNC to the table.
SNC had been lobbying for DPAs to be brought to Canada since 2015, just months after the company was charged by the RCMP with bribing a foreign public official (under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act) and fraud (under the Criminal Code of Canada) and a few months before the Trudeau government was elected.