OECD says 'concerned' by Canada prosecution meddling claims

Sergio Conner
March 15, 2019

"We acknowledge the concerns raised today by the OECD working group on bribery", he said in a written statement.

"In addition, political factors such as a country's national economic interest and the identity of the alleged perpetrators must not influence foreign bribery investigations and prosecution", it said.

The OECD said the Anti-Bribery Convention, to which Canada was a founding member, "requires prosecutorial independence in foreign bribery cases".

Opposition MPs erupted in fury Wednesday after the Liberals used their majority on the House of Commons justice committee to delay an opposition attempt to call Jody Wilson-Raybould to testify again on the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Last year, the Liberals introduced a new law to allow the director of public prosecutions to use what are known internationally as deferred-prosecution agreements.

Wilson-Raybould says multiple people from Trudeau's office, the finance minister's office and the Privy Council Office all put sustained, improper pressure on her to change her mind and she believes she was shuffled out as attorney general in January because she wouldn't.

If convicted at trial, the company would be barred from bidding on federal contracts.

Wilson-Raybould resigned February 12.

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We've heard from the key players in the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

Trudeau also needs to extend the confidentiality waiver he issued to allow Wilson-Raybould to talk about matters that normally would be protected by cabinet confidences or solicitor-client privilege, Ramsey added. He said last week he resigned not because he had done anything wrong but because he felt if he stayed on after Wilson-Raybould resigned it would look as though Trudeau had chosen him, a longtime friend, over a minister.

They were able to force the committee to meet, but couldn't control what happened when it did.

Conservative MP Michael Cooper said it is essential for the discussion to be out in the open because not allowing Wilson-Raybould to speak again is obstructing the committee's ability to fully study the matter. Moreover, almost one-in-three among the survey's Liberal camp remain unsure, 19 per cent don't believe him and 15 per cent believe the woman Trudeau demoted to Veterans Affairs, before the Globe and Mail story broke last month alleging the political interference and she resigned from cabinet altogether.

"We will use every tool in the parliamentary tool kit in order to pressure the government and the prime minister to stop his coverup and let Jody Wilson-Raybould speak". "There's more questions now than ever".

None of the Liberals who are full voting members of the committee responded Tuesday to queries from The Canadian Press.

The committee will reconvene on March 19 for their meeting where they will not only decide whether Wilson-Raybould will be invited back before the committee, but will also determine other witnesses they may wish to speak.

Thus far no Liberals have said publicly whether they will agree to call her a second time. She said there is now a reasonable understanding of what happened and demanding Wilson-Raybould reappear is more about continuing the drama than trying to get more information.

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