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    Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the media at the end of a two-day cabinet retreat in Calgary, Alberta, Canada January 24, 2017

    'I Take Responsibility' for Ethics Breach - Canadian PM Trudeau

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    The SNC-Lavalin scandal, which broke news earlier this year, has tarnished Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's progressive image, cost two Canadian ministers and two senior officials their jobs and plunged his party into a dead heat with the opposition Conservatives in the polls, AFP said.

    Canada's ethics watchdog slammed Trudeau on Wednesday, concluding that the Canadian prime minister has broken rules by pressuring then-attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to settle a criminal case against engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, AFP reported.

    "I disagree with some of (the ethics commissioner's) conclusions but I fully accept this report and take responsibility for everything that happened [...] But more than just taking responsibility for what happened in the past, it means making sure that this mistake never happens again", Trudeau told a news conference on Wednesday.

    Independent parliamentary ethics commissioner Mario Dion has stressed Trudeau and his officials had wrongly sought to "exert influence over the attorney general in her decision whether to intervene in a matter relating to a criminal prosecution", AFP said Wednesday.

    According to the media report, Trudeau must pay a small fine of up to Can $500 (US $375) for contravening Canada's conflict of interest act, but with only two months before national elections, the political costs could be much higher.

    Canada's ex-Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, who resigned in February, had claimed in her testimony to lawmakers that Trudeau's office had put pressure on her in order to help the SNC-Lavalin construction company avoid criminal prosecution on corruption charges, which might result in the company's ban on participating in government procurement if the firm is convicted.

    The crisis around Trudeau has resulted in an uproar among Canadian lawmakers who held emergency debates on the situation earlier this year. The prime minister, in his turn, has denied allegations against him, saying that he sought to protect jobs and acted with respect to Canada's laws and institutions.

    SNC-Lavalin, the Montreal-based firm, was charged in 2015 with allegedly paying $35 million in bribes between 2001 and 2011 to secure contracts in Libya during the rule of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, and of defrauding the Libyan government of almost $100 million.

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    scandal, SNC-Lavalin, breach, ethics, Justin Trudeau, Canada
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