SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. will stand trial on fraud and corruption charges, a judge ruled Wednesday.Prosecutors presented enough evidence during a preliminary hearing to send the case to criminal trial, Judge Claude Leblond said in his ruling at the Montreal courthouse.The Montreal-based engineering and construction company is accused of paying nearly $47.7 million in bribes to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011 to obtain contracts from the regime of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.Following the judge’s ruling, prosecutor Richard Roy said he believes the company can get a fair trial despite the negative publicity surrounding the case.“We are in the Canadian justice system and obviously in Canada SNC Lavalin will have a fair trial,” he said.Evidence presented at the preliminary hearing is subject to a publication ban. Lawyers for SNC will return to court on June 7 to announce whether the company wants a trial by jury or judge alone.The case sparked a scandal in Ottawa, after allegations emerged that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office allegedly pressured former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to reach a settlement with the company that would see it avoid prosecution. Wilson-Raybould resigned from the cabinet and was later ousted from the Liberal caucus.The settlement, called a deferred prosecution, would have seen the firm pay a fine rather than face a criminal trial. If convicted, the company could be barred from receiving federal government contracts for five to 10 years.SNC-Lavalin vowed on Wednesday to “vigorously” defend itself and plead not guilty to the charges “in the interest of its employees, partners, clients, investors, pensioners and other stakeholders.”“Given the threshold to be met by the prosecution at the stage of the preliminary inquiry, this outcome was expected,” Chief Executive Officer Neil Bruce said in a statement. SNC is analyzing the decision with its lawyers, and will decide “how to best advance our defence to the charges and the serious legal arguments we intend to present to continue to vigorously defend ourselves to get the right outcome and be acquitted,” he said.SNC contends it has “completely transformed” itself over the last few years – in part by revamping its management team and adopting new, more stringent governance standards.“These charges relate to alleged wrongdoings that took place seven to 20 years ago by certain former employees who left the company long ago. And we are pursuing those who committed the wrongdoings,” Bruce added.SNC says a trial could lead to thousands of job losses and may force the company to leave Canada. The embattled company’s stock has plummeted over the past month.In March, the Federal Court turned down the company’s request for a judicial review of the prosecutor’s decision not to enter into discussions over a remediation agreement.The company, its construction division and a subsidiary also face one charge each of fraud and corruption for allegedly defrauding various Libyan organizations of about $129.8 million.The Canadian Press contributed to this report.