Tamil migrants arrived in B.C. aboard the MV Sun Sea in August 2010. Image credit: Handout file photo.

Four-year sentence for man who smuggled Tamil migrants to Canada aboard MV Sun Sea

Christhurajah will walk free after spending seven years behind bars awaiting trial

A Sri Lankan man found guilty of smuggling Tamil migrants to Canada has walked free after receiving a four-year prison sentence.

Kunarobinson Christhurajah smiled as a British Columbia Supreme Court judge asked him to stand after announcing his sentence, saying the man won’t be serving any more time beyond the seven years he has spent behind bars awaiting trial.

Justice Catherine Wedge says Christhurajah was himself an asylum seeker aboard the MV Sun Sea, which was intercepted on B.C.’s coast in August 2010 with 492 passengers aboard after they’d left Thailand six weeks earlier.

Wedge cited a previous case in which three Chinese men were sentenced to four years in prison as part of an organized-crime-group that brought 190 illegal migrants to the West Coast in 1999.

Unlike in that case, Wedge says Christhurajah was not a mastermind or a leader and that he and his family experienced the same conditions as the other passengers.

A mistrial was declared in Christhurajah’s first trial in January when a jury failed to reach a verdict, but he was found guilty by another jury in May.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

RDN seeks guidance for Area F projects

Five-year Project Plan to be updated

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

RDN to create conceptual designs for fire halls

Committee endorses standardization design of buildings

Oceanside RCMP asking for help in finding teen

Isaiah Taylor may be in Qualicum Beach, Tofino or Victoria

VIDEO: Seaside Cruizers Show and Shine in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Hot rods, American muscle and more featured June 15-17

Coastal Community expands wealth services presence in Qualicum Beach

New offices are located in heart of Qualicum Beach’s business district

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Timely tide attracts another pod of orcas to Victoria

The pod left the harbour about 30 minutes later

Most Read