Montreal

Quebec Crown to ask Supreme Court to reverse judgment that saw man charged with murdering wife go free

The Quebec Crown is hoping the Supreme Court of Canada will overturn a 2017 judgment that stayed the second-degree murder case against Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham because his trial had been delayed for too long.

Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham deported to Sri Lanka after murder trial stayed under Jordan ruling

Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingam, centre, is seen here arriving for a detention review at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada shortly after his murder case was stayed in April 2017. He was deported in July 2017. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

The Quebec Crown is hoping the Supreme Court of Canada will overturn a judgment that allowed an accused murderer to go free because his trial was delayed for too long. 

The charges against Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham were stayed last April due to unreasonable delays in getting to trial.

Thanabalasingham was set to be tried for second-degree murder in the 2012 death of his 21-year-old wife, Anuja Baskaran. He spent 56 months behind bars, awaiting trial.

Quebec's Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) announced Friday its intention to take the case to Canada's highest court.

It must first seek permission of the Supreme Court to appeal, and if granted, the Crown will ask the court to reverse last April's judgment and order Thanabalasingham's trial.

Thanabalasingham was released shortly before his trial date last April, because of what the court called unreasonable delays. He was deported to his native Sri Lanka in July.

The Crown had appealed Thanabalasingham's stay of proceedings to the Quebec Court of Appeal.

However, Quebec's high court rejected that appeal in mid-February on the grounds that it had become moot and theoretical, given that the man had already left the country.

The appeal court had been divided 4 to 1 on the question: Chief Justice Nicole Duval Hesler drafted a dissenting opinion, which the DPCP cited in its request to the Supreme Court.

With files from La Presse Canadienne

now