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A former executive of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. says he plans to sue the company over the way it handled his dismissal this week.

SNC announced late Thursday that executive vice-president Riadh Ben Aïssa no longer worked for the company, saying "Questions regarding the conduct of SNC-Lavalin employees have recently been the focus of public attention."

Mr. Ben Aïssa had been with SNC for 27 years, working largely in Libya where he developed a close relationship with Col. Moammar Gadhafi's son Saadi. That relationship helped SNC win roughly $1-billion in contracts in the country. Recently, Mr. Ben Aissa's name surfaced in reports about plots to help Saadi escape Libya during last year's uprising in the country. Another SNC executive, Stéphane Roy, was also dismissed Thursday after being linked to those plots.

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On Friday, a spokesman for Mr. Ben Aissa issued a news release rejecting suggestions he violated company policy.

"After nearly 27 years with SNC-Lavalin, Mr. Ben Aïssa laments the manner in which the company decided to announce the end of their professional relationship," the release said. "The erroneous insinuations surrounding his decision to resign, intentionally conveyed by SNC-Lavalin, are causing direct harm to him and to his family. Therefore, Mr. Ben Aïssa, has decided to undertake the appropriate legal recourse against SNC-Lavalin in order set the record straight and re-establish his reputation."

According to the release, Mr. Ben Aïssa had resigned from SNC, although the spokesman would not say why he decided to leave the company. It is also not clear what type of lawsuit Mr. Ben Aïssa might pursue.

"We stand by our press release as is," said Leslie Quinton, a spokesperson for SNC

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