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Sixth arrest made in alleged McGill hospital fraud

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) offices are shown in Montreal, Tuesday, September 18, 2012, where members of Quebec's anti-corruption squad conducted a raid at the premises.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Anti-corruption police in Quebec have arrested a sixth person sought in the $22.5-million alleged fraud stemming from the awarding of a Montreal superhospital contract.

St-Clair Martin Armitage will appear in a Montreal courtroom on Wednesday after turning himself in to police at the airport. The British national had been sought by the province's anti-corruption unit, known as UPAC, since May 8 in connection with the awarding of the contract to build the $1.3-billion McGill University Health Centre.

The contract is the subject of an alleged fraud involving former hospital officials and former executives with Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin. Ex-SNC-Lavalin executives are accused of funnelling money to former McGill hospital officials Arthur Porter and Yanai Elbaz in exchange for the contract.

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Mr. Armitage was placed under arrest on Tuesday after arriving on a plane from England. He's facing charges similar to the others accused – conspiracy to commit fraud, fraud and breach of trust.

Authorities are still working to return Mr. Porter and former SNC-Lavalin executive Riadh Ben Aissa to Canada. Mr. Ben Aissa remains detained in Switzerland on separate charges of corruption, fraud and money-laundering in North Africa. Mr. Porter is challenging extradition to Canada from a Panamanian prison.

Others who have already been charged are former SNC-Lavalin president Pierre Duhaime; Mr. Elbaz and his brother Yohann; Pamela Porter, Arthur Porter's wife; and Jeremy Morris, the administrator of a Bahamas-based investment company . Mr. Armitage was hired by the McGill hospital authority as an expert on private-public partnerships.

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