Three former senior executives of SNC-Lavalin Group in Canada were acquitted in the Padma bridge corruption conspiracy case, a development that prompted calls for apology from those who were vocal against the alleged graft attempt.
On Friday, Justice Ian Nordheimer of the Ontario Superior Court in Canada ruled that he had serious concerns about three applications the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) filed in 2011 to get court approval for using wiretaps as the case evidence.
The RCMP had sought the approval as it probed allegations that SNC staff planned to bribe officials in Bangladesh to try to win a $50 million contract to supervise construction of the country’s Padma bridge project.
“Reduced to its essentials, the information provided in the [wiretap applications] was nothing more than speculation, gossip and rumour,” Judge Nordheimer concluded, reports the Globe and Mail newspaper.
“Nothing that could fairly be referred to as direct factual evidence, to support the rumour and speculation, was provided or investigated. The information provided by the tipsters was hearsay (or worse) added to other hearsay.”
A number of government high-ups in Bangladesh were charged and later acquitted by a Bangladesh court and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the corruption attempt case relating to the bridge project.