Owner of vessel alleged to be involved in human smuggling denied bail

Published: February 8, 2013
MV Sun Sea

The owner of the MV Sun Sea has been denied bail. Submitted photo/Canadian Forces files


The owner of a vessel on which 492 Tamils allegedly tried to enter Canada illegally has been denied bail.

Kunarobinson Christhurajah, one of six men charged with human smuggling aboard the MV Sun Sea, was detained after the rusty ship arrived off the B.C. coast in August 2010.

He applied to be released in the wake of a decision by a B.C. judge in January that struck down Canada’s human smuggling as being unconstitutional.

But on Friday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jon Sigurdson denied Christhurajah judicial interim release.

The judge’s reasons for judgment and submissions heard at the bail hearing cannot be reported due to a publication ban that was imposed.

The accused, a slightly-built Sri Lankan man wearing red prison garb, had little reaction as he sat in the prisoner’s dock with an interpreter.

His wife and small child sat behind him in the public gallery of the Vancouver courtroom.


In August last year two other accused – Nadarajah Mahendran and Thampeernayagam Rajaratnam – were ordered released on bail by the B.C. Supreme Court.

In November, a fourth accused, alleged ship captain Lesly Jana Emmanuel, was also released on bail but has since been detained on an immigration matter.

Thayakaran Markandu, a fifth man charged in the case, is being sought for extradition from France.

Sathyapavan Aseervatham, the sixth accused, was deported last year back to Sri Lanka, which does not have an extradition treaty with Canada.
Lawyers for the accused appeared in court earlier this week and advised the court that they have launched a constitutional challenge similar to the one that resulted in the law being struck down. They are hoping to have the charges against their clients quashed.

No date has been set for the trial.

The 492 passengers on the Sun Sea were comprised of 380 adult men, 63 adult women and 49 minors.

After B.C. Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman declared the law invalid, he suspended that declaration to allow the federal Crown to apply for a stay of the declaration pending an appeal of the ruling.

The stay application is scheduled to be heard in the B.C. Court of Appeal on Feb. 15.

After he struck down the law, with the consent of Crown and defence he quashed human smuggling charges against four men accused in the case of 76 Tamils brought into Canada aboard the MV Ocean Lady in 2009. All 76 were males, ranging in age from 17 to 42.

Tags: , ,



Indian minister refers to Dec. 16 fatal gang rape as “small incident” that hurt tourism

IANS New Delhi  – An Indian minister is embroiled in controversy after he referred to Delhi’s fatal Dec. 16 gang rape as a “small incident”…
Continue Reading »

Abraham Azhakathu

Travel request from Alberta priest accused of sexual assault rejected

THE CANADIAN PRESS PEACE RIVER, Alta. — A Catholic priest in northwestern Alberta who is accused of sexually assaulting a minor has been told he…
Continue Reading »


India blocks release of film on Indira Gandhi’s killing, says it glorifies her assassins

NIRMALA GEORGE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — India has blocked the release of a film on the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi,…
Continue Reading »


Abraham Azhakathu

Travel request from Alberta priest accused of sexual assault rejected

THE CANADIAN PRESS PEACE RIVER, Alta. — A Catholic priest in northwestern Alberta who is accused of sexually assaulting a minor has been told he…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Sept. 5

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Sept. 5: On this date: In 1534, Jacques Cartier arrived in France after his first voyage to…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Sept. 1

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Sept. 1: On this date: In 1159, the only English pope in history, Adrian (or Hadrian) IV,…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Const. Ian MacDonald says: ‘You don’t want to see anybody carted away in an ambulance over this, and that is a very real possibility. Ric Ernst/PNG

‘It’s pride getting in the way’: Feuding Indo-Canadian youth factions worry Abbotsford cops (w/ video)

JENNIFER SALTMAN  VANCOUVER DESI  No one really knows how the conflict started. According to a number of people who are involved, in February one person…
Continue Reading »


Eight-year-old Indian boy’s swollen hands are larger than his head

VANCOUVER DESI Kaleem, an eight-year-old Indian boy suffering from a mystery condition has puzzled doctors after his hands swelled to giant proportions and are larger…
Continue Reading »


Doctors remove unborn child’s skeleton from woman’s womb after 36 years

VANCOUVER DESI In an unusual surgery, doctors in India removed the skeleton of an unborn baby from its mother’s womb after 36 years, the Press…
Continue Reading »


Turbaned Sikhs will not be allowed to ride motorbike without a helmet in Ontario

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she won’t allow for turban-wearing Sikhs to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. In…
Continue Reading »

Annu Gaidhu

Mississauga beauty Annu Gaidhu crowned Miss India Canada (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI Mississauga’s Annu Gaidhu was crowned Miss India-Canada at the 24th annual pageant in Toronto Saturday evening. The 23-year-old yoga instructor and aspiring child…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood Latest

Indian comedy actor  Kapil Sharma and Sumona Chakravarti pose during a press conference to promote 'Comedy Nights with Kapil'. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

Kapil Sharma onto new ventures, including Comedy Nights tour that will reach Canada

IANS Mumbai  – Popular stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma, who is set to make his Bollywood debut with director duo Abbas-Mustan’s untitled film, is looking forward…
Continue Reading »

desi boobs-actress-celebrity

Bollywood actress from Britain still finds time to help her parents at their corner shop (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI British actress Geeta Basra, who made a name for herself in Bollywood with three major films, still helps her parents at their local…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood stunt man

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar takes up the ALS ice bucket challenge

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood action hero Akshay Kumar took on the ALS ice bucket challenge in true stuntman style – with 11 buckets of ice water….
Continue Reading »