The leader of Canada's main opposition party Andrew Scheer demanded that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quit over the SNC-Lavalin case. "He can no longer, with a clear conscience, continue to lead this nation", Scheer told reporters, cited by Reuters, calling for police to immediately probe the case.
According to AP, Trudeau's government has been on the defensive since the Globe and Mail newspaper reported 7 February that Trudeau or his staff pressured then-justice minister and then-attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to try to avoid criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin over allegations of corruption involving government contracts in Libya.
She said Trudeau told her that if Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin didn't get a deferred prosecution there would be jobs lost and the company would move its headquarters from Montreal to London, AP reported Wednesday. Wilson-Raybould also said she was "barraged" and subjected to "hounding" by members of the government, according to AP.
Trudeau and other officials deny inappropriate pressure was put on Wilson-Raybould. But the case forced the resignation of Trudeau's principal private secretary, Gerald Butts, earlier this month, Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, the recent Canadian opinion polls show that the SNC-Lavalin case is starting to affect the Liberals and Trudeau ahead of the federal election in October.
The Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin is facing accusations that its former executives paid millions of dollars in bribes to win contracts in Libya under Muammar Gaddafi's rule, which collapsed in 2011. In particular, the company is accused of paying nearly $48 million to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011 to influence government decisions.
The firm is also charged with fraud and corruption for allegedly defrauding various Libyan organisations of roughly $130 million.