Canada`s independent ethics commissioner said on Monday he was probing allegations that the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have improperly tried last year to help construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc avoid criminal trial.
Mario Dion made the announcement in a letter he sent to two opposition legislators who had asked him to look into a newspaper report that Trudeau officials had put pressure on then-justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to go easy on the firm.
Although Dion`s office has only limited powers to sanction wrongdoing, the probe shows the affair may become more problematic for Trudeau as he prepares for a close-run re-election bid this October.
Trudeau last week denied his office had tried to pressure Wilson-Raybould to make a deal with the company to avoid a trial. SNC-Lavalin is facing fraud and corruption charges linked to allegations that former executives paid bribes to win Libyan contracts under Muammar Gaddafi`s regime, which fell in 2011.
Dion said he had reason to believe someone may have broken rules that forbid officials "from seeking to influence a decision of another person so as to improperly further" the interests of a third party.
Wilson-Raybould was unexpectedly shuffled out of her role last month and given the more junior post of veterans` affairs minister.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)