Elbaz out on $150,000 bail
One of the men charged with fraud in the MUHC superhospital project has been freed on bail, awaiting his criminal case.
Former Montreal hospital executive Yanai Elbaz appeared briefly in a Montreal courtroom today to be formally charged with fraud in the construction of the $1.3 billion McGill University Health Centre, one of Canada's biggest infrastructure projects.
Elbaz is facing charges along with four other co-accused: former SNC-Lavalin senior executives Pierre Duhaime and Riadh Ben Aissa; former McGill hospital director-general Arthur Porter; and Jeremy Morris, the administrator of a Bahamas-based investment company.
Procedures have been launched to bring three of the accused back to Canada, while Duhaime already faces criminal charges in a related case.
As for Elbaz, he is charged with fraud; conspiracy to commit fraud; fraud against the government; embezzlement; secret commissions and laundering the proceeds of crime.
Elbaz was arrested on Wednesday and released today on $100,000 bail, including a $50,000 cash deposit with the court. Elbaz is not permitted to speak to a long list of people — including his co-accused, as well as a lengthy list of SNC-Lavalin and McGill University Health Centre employees who could be witnesses.
He is also forbidden from going to either the building that houses the offices of the multinational engineering firm or to those
of the McGill hospital administration.
Elbaz was ordered to hand over his passport, cannot leave Canada and must report to Quebec provincial police headquarters every Friday.
Elbaz will be represented by Pierre Poupart, a famous Quebec defence attorney.
He is best known in recent years for having successfully defended Guy Turcotte, a former cardiologist who had been charged with two counts of first-degree murder of his children and was found not criminally responsible of the crime.
His lawyer is Pierre Poupart, who famously represented Guy Turcotte.
Elbaz is back in court May 23.
Photo: La Presse