OTTAWA, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has become the first prime minister to break the country's ethics law twice in Canadian history.
Trudeau said Wednesday he took full responsibility for all that transpired in the report given on the day by a government watchdog under Canada's Parliament.
The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion said his office found that Trudeau violated Canada's Conflict of Interest Act by attempting to help Canadian construction and engineering giant SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution on fraud and bribery charges regarding its business activities in Libya from 2001 to 2011.
Dion said that "the authority of the prime minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit" Jody Wilson-Raybould, former justice minister and attorney general.
Wilson-Raybould earlier said that the prime minister pressured her to interfere in criminal proceedings against SNC-Lavalin and wanted her to seek a civil penalty rather than a criminal conviction.
Wilson-Raybould later resigned in protest against Trudeau's demand. She issued her own statement on Wednesday, "welcoming" Dion's report as a "vindication of the independent role of the attorney general."
SNC-Lavalin has 9,000 employees in Canada and about 50,000 worldwide. If convicted of criminal charges, the company would face a 10-year ban on competing for Canadian government contracts.
After Dion issued his report, Canada's opposition Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer said that Trudeau's first ethics violation was "shocking," but "this one is unforgivable."
In December 2017, former Commissioner Mary Dawson accused the prime minister of violating four sections of the Conflict of Interest Act over his dealings with Aga Khan, a Canadian charitable organization registered to lobby Trudeau's office.
Scheer asked the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to conduct an investigation on Trudeau's possible obstruction of justice.
The RCMP told CBC News that it is "examining this matter carefully with all available information and will take appropriate actions as required."