Ben Aissa remains behind bars in MUHC fraud case
Published Wednesday, October 29, 2014 6:25PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 29, 2014 7:12PM EDT
A suspect in a multi-million dollar bribery case involving the new MUHC superhospital is stuck behind bars for the time being.
Riadh Ben Aissa was extradited to Canada from Switzerland two weeks ago, but the accused is having a hard time getting someone to bail him out.
The former vice president at engineering firm SNC-Lavalin is charged with fraud.
Prosecutors claim he was able to pay a bribe of $22.5 million to former MUHC director Arthur Porter and his assistant Yanai Elbaz to steer the project towards SNC-Lavalin.
Ben Aissa was recently extradited from Switzerland, where he was jailed in other bribery cases. He's now facing 16 charges in Canada.
The defence is having a hard time getting him bail, because the prosecution says it has good reasons to demand strict bail.
“He's not an habitual resident of Canada so he has the burden to establish that he could be released,” said Crown prosecutor Marie-Helene Giroux.
Ben Aissa will remain behind bars at least until Nov. 11, so he can find the ways and funds, to reassure the courts he's not a flight risk.
He is not the only accused in this case – there are at least half a dozen people involved in the bribery scandal that's affecting the MUHC.
- Former MUHC consultant St-Clair Armitage is currently free on $75,000 bail.
- Former SNC-Lavalin president Pierre Duhaime is also free on bail pending his trial.
- Former MUHC director Arthur Porter is currently fighting extradition to Canada from Panama.
- Porter’s wife and co-accused in the case, Pamela Porter, returned to Montreal, but her bail was eventually revoked.