Corporate fraud and bribery charges against SNC-Lavalin, (thorium nuclear company)

SNC-Lavalin faces rare corporate fraud and bribery charges LES PERREAUX, JEFF GRAY AND BERTRAND MAROTTE MONTREAL and TORONTO — The Globe and Mail, Feb. 19 2015, The RCMP have laid rare corporate fraud and bribery charges against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. after protracted negotiations with prosecutors failed to reach a settlement, threatening the future of an enormous Canadian firm that builds infrastructure around the world.

While former company executives already face criminal charges related to bribing Libyan officials – former vice-president Riadh Ben Aissa has pleaded guilty to Swiss charges – a series of scandals has shown a culture of breaking ethics rules in the company’s executive suite prior to 2012. These are the first charges targeting the company as a whole.

SNC is accused of using at least $47.7-million to bribe Libyan officials. A second count is for fraud of about $130-million related to construction projects in Libya. SNC responded quickly, saying the alleged activities took place between 2001 and 2011 and the people involved have been fired. The company says it has co-operated with authorities for the past three years and intends to plead not guilty.

A source familiar with the investigation said settlement talks between SNC-Lavalin and prosecutors were close to a deal in October.

As part of any deal, the company was expected to face a multimillion-dollar fine. But the possibility that a guilty plea could automatically trigger a 10-year ban on winning Canadian government contracts “complicated everything” and must have been among the factors that scuppered the settlement, the source said.

Long considered soft on anti-corruption enforcement, Canada’s international reputation may benefit from the charges, according to one of the country’s staunchest critics.

“This is a step in advance. Canada is actually gaining ground on its past,” said Mark Pieth, a criminal law professor at the University of Basel in Switzerland and the former chairman of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s bribery working group.

“Finally. I had waited for action against the company for a long time.”

Business analysts played down any immediate threat to the company, saying charges and an eventual fine of up to $300-million were expected. But chief executive Robert Card was unequivocal when he told The Globe and Mail last fall SNC could be broken up or “cease to exist” if the company were convicted and barred from Canadian government contracts for 10 years. He said even laying charges could be damaging enough to SNC’s reputation to pose a threat…..

Riyaz Dattu, a Toronto lawyer with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP who advises companies on corruption issues, said the charges for SNC-Lavalin are a dire warning for other Canadian companies that they need to bring in stronger anti-corruption controls and new training for employees to ensure bribes are not being paid around the world.

“The message is coming through loud and clear to corporate Canada,” Mr. Dattu said.

The Libyan allegations are not the only corruption troubles facing SNC. Ethics probes have involved SNC employees who worked on projects in Algeria, Bangladesh and Montreal. Mr. Ben Aissa is at the centre of many of the allegations, including fraud and corruption charges related to building a Montreal hospital……….http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/snc-lavalin-faces-rare-corporate-fraud-and-bribery-charges/article23108284/

USA’s nuclear lobby buys universities – Cambridge UK is the latest, touting thorium

The nuclear industry has a grip on USA’s Department of Energy (DOE) – they work together to promote nuclear power. It’s not hard to find academics who will pretty much advertise nuclear power- especially nuclear physicists and engineers. After all, where else will they get a high-paying prestigious job?

A global tactic of DOE is buying academia. Universities like the funding. We have some of this funding in Australia, at Flinders University, for example.

The latest from the UK is Cambridge University  – very happy indeed to be funded by USA to promote the pipe-dream of thorium nuclear powered reactors – as “safer nuclear power”.  Note that it’s not“safe” nuclear power – just a bit less dangerous than conventional uranium-powered nuclear power. And considerably more dangerous that wind or solar power, of course. http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Cambridge-University-team-fuels-bid-safer-nuclear/story-23659365-detail/story.html#ixzz3HZZfeTUX

Scrutiny on the methods of pro Thorium Twitter trolls

A recent article analysed the illogicality, if not downright dishonesty of the climate sceptic trolls. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/8/20/policy-politics/what-i-learned-debating-science-trolls
I welcomed that article with interest, as it dissected the often quite sophisticated comments, blogs, tweets, etc of the climate denialists, most of them well and truly in the pay of vested interests in the fossil fuel industries.
The nuclear lobby is no doubt just as sophisticated. However, it has a sort of “side arsenal” of tweeters, mainly focusing on the red herring industry of thorium energy, Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs and Small Modular (Nuclear) Reactors. (Note how these new geewhiz lobbyists leave out that tainted word “Nuclear” )
It’s interesting to look at their tactics – particularly on Twitter.
I am constantly the victim of Twitter trollism because I campaign against the nuclear industry. It is ironic that these trolls use climate change as their argument for nuclear power, – and accuse me constantly of being in the pay of the coal and gas companies. That’s despite the fact that I repeatedly write and publish on websites on the critical need for action to address climate change
The pro nuclear trolls use two tactics.
 The main one is to abuse and discredit their targeted person. Thus I am not only “in the pay” of the fossil fuel industries, I am also a “murderer” – as well as being “stupid” “evil” ignorant” and have many other unpleasant attributes.
Their second tactic is to focus on narrowly technical matters – such as the intricacies of new (though not yet existing) Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs). The pretense is that this is the whole argument – the superiority of new nuclear technology. Subjects such as economics, ecology, public health, civil liberties, – these matters are “not relevant” to the discussion on nuclear power.
In fact, only people with technical expertise can have a valid opinion. (Of course if a technically qualified person should oppose nuclear power , then he or she must be “in the pay” of the fossil fuel industries).
Here are today’s samples of pro thorium tweeter tactics against critics – me, in fact. No attempt to answer the factual tweets that I posted about renewable energy versus nuclear power (My full name is Noel Christina Macpherson Wauchope)
Thomas Huxley @thjr19Notice how fossil fuel shill Noel Wauchope only mentions say coal (NEVER mentioning gas) perhaps once in a dozen tweets. $$$$$$ !! #thoriumThomas Huxley @thjr19

Noel Wauchope: Please! Fossil Fuel Shill Manager: No! NW: Please! FFSM: OK, every 2nd tweet. NO MORE, hear me

Thomas Huxley @thjr19

Noel Wauchope, fossil fuel industry shill, has been told to lay off coal. How long to get permission again?!