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: , ,



Surrey mayoral candidates trade barbs over closed-door meetings

Ex-Mayor McCallum calls out opponents Hepner and Rasode for ‘hypocrisy’ LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI With the Surrey election months away, the mudslinging has already begun….
Continue Reading »

India's Supreme Court stays death penalty of man convicted in rape-murder of four-year-old. PNG Archive

Former Abbotsford Hindu priest jailed on sex charges denied parole

Karam Vir is serving a 21/2-year sentence JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI A former Hindu priest from Abbotsford who was convicted of sex crimes involving two…
Continue Reading »

India pachydermal love story

Indian elephant heartbroken after partner’s death

VANCOUVER DESI An elephant in India has been diagnosed with a broken heart after its partner died on Tuesday, according to the Hindustan Times. The…
Continue Reading »


Today in History – Aug. 15

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Aug. 15: On this date: In 1057, Macbeth, King of Scots, was killed in battle by Malcolm,…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Aug. 14

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Aug. 14: On this date: In 1040, King Duncan of Scotland was murdered by Macbeth, who became…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Aug. 10

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Aug. 10: On this date: In 258, St. Lawrence was martyred in Rome, when he was slowly…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...


Minor allegedly raped by temple priest in southern India

HINDUSTAN TIMES An 11-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a temple priest in Bangalore on Tuesday, less than a month after a seven-year-old was raped…
Continue Reading »


Miss Diva 2014 gears up for auditions

IANS New Delhi – Miss Diva, that was launched last year as an official franchise from India for Miss Universe, is set to start auditions…
Continue Reading »

Scene from Airtel's latest commercial. YouTube/Screengrab.

Indian telecom company’s not so progressive ad featuring a “boss wife” causes Twitter reaction

IANS New Delhi  – Is a woman who calls the shots in the office then goes home to cook for her husband – who’s also…
Continue Reading »

child death

Toddler falls into pot of boiling syrup, dies

  IANS New Delhi – A three-year-old boy died after he fell into a pot of boiling sugar syrup, police said here Wednesday. The child,…
Continue Reading »

Merritt music festival

Headdresses banned from Merritt music festival out of respect to First Nations

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI An electronic music festival this B.C. Day long weekend in Merritt has banned native headdresses from its campgrounds. “Bass Coast Festival…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood Latest


Kick: Salman Khan, Sajid Nadiadwala kick up a storm

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Film: “Kick”; Cast: Salman Khan, Randeep Hooda, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Jacqueline Fernandez; Director: Sajid Nadiadwala; Rating: **** “Kick toh banta hai,…
Continue Reading »


Indian author pens sequel to Jeffrey Archer’s ‘First Among Equals’ for Bollywood film

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Mumbai – In what must qualify as a first in the field of literary adaptations, author-columnist Anish Trivedi has written a…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan joins hands with Indian TV channel to host Indian version of “Got Talent”

IANS Mumbai – Superstar Shah Rukh Khan has joined hands with Hindi general entertainment channel Colors for his return to the small screen. He will…
Continue Reading »