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Canada Jury deliberations start Thursday in Lac-Mégantic railway disaster trial

07:20  11 january  2018
07:20  11 january  2018 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Lac-Megantic closing arguments continue today

  Lac-Megantic closing arguments continue today Closing arguments at the Lac-Megantic criminal trial enter their third day today as defence lawyers continue to make the case their clients should be found not guilty. Tom Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre have all pleaded not guilty to one count of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people.On July 6, 2013, a runaway train carrying crude derailed in Lac-Megantic and exploded, killing the 47 and destroying part of the downtown core.The Crown presented its arguments Wednesday, Demaitre's lawyer was front and centre Thursday and Labrie's is expected to address the jury today.

The Lac - Mégantic rail disaster occurred in the town of Lac - Mégantic , in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec, Canada, at approximately 01:15 EDT, on July 6, 2013, when an unattended 74-car freight train carrying Bakken Formation crude oil rolled down a 1.2% grade from Nantes and derailed

Jury begins deliberations Thursday in Lac - Mégantic rail disaster trial . MMA railway created 'perfect storm,' defence for Tom Harding tells Lac - Mégantic trial .

011018-CRIME_Lac_Megantic_20180110© Ryan Remiorz 011018-CRIME_Lac_Megantic_20180110

SHERBROOKE — The three accused in the Lac-Mégantic railway disaster must be judged without sympathy or prejudice and without consideration of public opinion, Quebec Superior Court Justice Gaétan Dumas told jurors Wednesday in his final instructions.

Dumas began speaking to the jurors one day after defence lawyers for the accused wrapped up their closing arguments.

When he was done, 12 of 14 jurors were sequestered to deliberate the fate of the former railway employees starting Thursday morning.

“You must consider the evidence and make your decision without sympathy, prejudice or fear,” Dumas told the jury. “You must not be influenced by public opinion.”

Closing arguments resume at Lac-Megantic trial

  Closing arguments resume at Lac-Megantic trial SHERBROOKE, Que. - Tom Harding, the conductor of the train that derailed, exploded and killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, didn't act perfectly the night of the tragedy, but he acted reasonably, his lawyer said Monday in his closing statements. Lawyer Charles Shearson told the 14 jurors he admits Harding didn't conduct a proper brake test on the train after he parked the oil-laden convoy outside the small town the night of July 5, 2013. But Harding Lawyer Charles Shearson told the 14 jurors he admits Harding didn't conduct a proper brake test on the train after he parked the oil-laden convoy outside the small town the night of July 5, 2013.

Superior Court Justice Gaétan Dumas has completed his instructions to the jury in the trial of three former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic railway employees indicted for their roles in the 2013 Lac - Mégantic disaster . Eight men and four women will begin deliberations Thursday morning.

Former Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd. employees Tom Harding, right, Jean Demaître, centre, and Richard Labrie are escorted by police to appear in court in Lac - Mégantic in 2014. Jury begins deliberations Thursday in Lac - Mégantic rail disaster trial .

Tom Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaître are charged with criminal negligence in the disaster that killed 47 people in July 2013 when a runaway train carrying crude derailed in Lac-Mégantic and exploded.

They have pleaded not guilty.

Harding was the train’s engineer, Labrie the traffic controller and Demaître the manager of train operations.

Dumas said the jury is charged with rendering three separate, unanimous verdicts based solely on evidence heard in the courtroom.

The trial judge added that neither the now-bankrupt company that owned the derailed train, Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, nor its administrators were on trial.

The trial involved only the three employees accused of being individually and independently criminally negligent from July 4 to 6, 2013, he said.

Judge gives instructions to Lac-Megantic jury

  Judge gives instructions to Lac-Megantic jury Judge gives instructions to Lac-Megantic juryThe jurors will be sequestered once Quebec Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas has finished his charge.

SHERBROOKE, QUE.—The jurors at the trial of three men charged with criminal negligence causing death in the Lac - Mégantic railway disaster completed their first day of deliberations Thursday without reaching a verdict or emerging to ask questions.

The three accused in the Lac - Megantic railway disaster must be judged without sympathy or prejudice and without consideration of public opinion, Quebec Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas told jurors Wednesday in his final instructions.

Dumas explained to jurors some elements of criminal law, such as the fact the three accused are not required to prove they are innocent. In fact, he said, they have nothing to prove.

It’s up to the prosecution, he continued, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the behaviour of the three men — by their actions or omissions — constituted a marked and important departure from what a reasonable person would do under the same circumstances.

In order for the three men to be guilty, Dumas said, the accused must have omitted to do something they were required to do, thus showing a reckless disregard for the life of others.

The accused’s behaviour must have also caused the death of 47 people, he said.

Harding, the Crown contends, failed to perform a proper brake test and didn’t apply enough handbrakes after he parked the 73-wagon convoy on July 5, 2013.

Labrie and Demaître are accused of failing to ask enough questions to ensure the train was properly secure after a fire broke out on the locomotive and firefighters shut off its engine, compromising the braking system.

Wrong people on trial: family of Megantic victim .
Wrong people on trial: family of Megantic victim"I think, very sincerely, that since the day of the accident, these people have been living in purgatory and it must have been extremely difficult," Bernard Boulet told The Canadian Press. "I'm happy these three people are free.

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