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

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

First Past the Post is the only option

Letter to the Editor by Dieter Bogs of Trail

Acid tainted vehicles from Trail spills, held for evidence

Contaminated vehicles are evidence in ICBC’s lawsuit against “negligent parties”

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Most Read