Judgment in July as trial wraps for four men accused of smuggling Tamil migrants

Accused migrant smugglers awaiting judgement

VANCOUVER — The trial for four men charged with smuggling dozens of Tamil migrants to Canada aboard a decrepit ship is over and the judge has reserved his decision until July.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman told the court Friday he will allow the defence to submit an additional written response to the Crown’s allegations before determining his verdict.

The four men are accused under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of smuggling 76 migrants on board the vessel from Thailand to the coast of British Columbia in October 2009.

The Supreme Court of Canada ordered a new trial for the men in 2015 after ruling portions of the act were unconstitutional and shouldn’t automatically brand those who help migrants as people smugglers.

In closing arguments this week, the prosecutor said exceptions that protect those providing humanitarian aid or helping fellow migrants doesn’t apply to the accused because they were part of a profit-driven scheme.

Defence lawyers for Francis Anthonimuthu Appulonappa, Hamalraj Handasamy, Jeyachandran Kanagarajah and Vignarajah Thevarajah say the evidence fails to prove the four men benefited financially or had a privileged position aboard the vessel.

Silverman is expected to deliver his judgement on July 27.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

RDN approves new service to fund film industry

Qualicum Beach mayor disagrees with electoral areas share

VIDEO: French Creek, Coombs hit with flooding

RDN offering sandbags to residents in low-lying areas

Highway 19A reopened north of Qualicum Beach

Repair work completed 48 hours after Sunday washout near Cook Creek Road

Excavation to start at Fairwinds in Nanoose Bay

Initial work expected to take up to four months

Parksville council OKs provisional budget

$5,000 grant to museum added to 2018 budget

Views in The NEWS, Nov. 21

We asked: When do you start decorating for Christmas?

Vehicle found, woman still missing, last seen in Parksville

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

Kettle campaign kicking off in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Q.B. council, Parksville mayor make some early donations

Most Read