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Former SNC head charged with fraud

Pierre Duhaime, the former chief executive of Canada's biggest engineering firm, has been granted more flexibility to travel within the country pending trial on fraud charges.

Duhaime, a prominent Quebec businessman and once the head of engineering powerhouse SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC), was formally charged with fraud on Monday.

He was not in the courtroom as his lawyer, Michel Massicotte, pleaded not guilty on his behalf.

A change was made to conditions surrounding Duhaime's release. Initially, he was forbidden from leaving Quebec. The Crown has now agreed he can travel elsewhere in Canada, but not go beyond its borders.

"We asked that his conditions permit him to go across Canada for purposes of work, to give him better opportunities and it was considered to be a reasonable alternative," Massicotte said outside the courtroom.

Duhaime faces charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and issuing false documents.

Massicotte says Duhaime is currently not working.

The next date in the case has been set for May 23 when Massicotte is expected to receive more evidence.

Duhaime and another former top executive, Riadh Ben Aissa, face charges stemming from a contract involving the building of the multibillion-dollar McGill University Health Centre.

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