B.C. jury finds man guilty of smuggling Tamil migrants to Canada
The MV Sun Sea is shown being escorted past Fisgard Lighthouse and into CFB Esquimalt in Colwood, B.C., Friday, Aug. 13, 2010. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, May 27, 2017 7:59PM EDT
VANCOUVER -- A prosecutor says a man accused of bringing hundreds of Tamil migrants into Canada illegally in a dilapidated cargo ship nearly seven years ago has been found guilty.
Crown counsel Charles Hough says a B.C. Supreme Court jury found Kunarobinson Christhurajah guilty Saturday of human smuggling 10 or more persons.
It was a retrial for the Sri Lankan national over his involvement in the voyage of the MV Sun Sea that travelled from Thailand to British Columbia's coast in 2010.
The vessel, which was considered unseaworthy in the open ocean, crossed the Pacific without a formal crew, carrying 492 Sri Lankan Tamils who intended to claim refugee status.
A previous trial heard Christhurajah was an asylum seeker and travelled on the Sun Sea with his wife, while Rajaratnam's mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law and two cousins were on board.
The trial which ended in January acquitted three other men who had been accused human smuggling in the case, but the jury at the time was left undecided on Christhurajah.
Christhurajah served more than six years in jail before being granted bail in February.
Hough wouldn't comment further on the case and Christhurajah's lawyer Casey Leggett also declined to comment.
Justice Catherine Wedge did not schedule a sentencing hearing, and Hough says Christhurajah remains free on bail.