4-year sentence for man found guilty of smuggling Tamil migrants to Canada
Kunarobinson Christhurajah won't serve any more time after spending 7 years in prison 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 off B.C.'s coast in August 2010, after it left Thailand six weeks earlier with 492 passengers.
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 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.