Canadian court revives case of deported Sri Lankan accused of killing wife

After the second-degree murder charge was stayed, Thanabalasingham was judged a danger to society and a flight by immigration authorities and was immediately arrested. The Crown appealed the stay, but he was deported in July 2017 before the appeal could be heard.Quebec’s appellate court subsequently rejected the Crown’s appeal, declaring that in Thanabalasingham’s absence his prosecution had become irrelevant and theoretical. In 2017, Thanabalasingham avoided trial for the alleged murder of his wife when the Quebec Superior Court ruled the nearly 60-month delay between his arrest and the start of his trial was unreasonable. The Supreme Court’s 2016 Jordan ruling set a 30-month limit between the laying of charges and a trial for Superior Court cases. Thanabalasingham’s wife, Anuja Baskaran, had been found dead in the couple’s home in 2012 with knife wounds to her neck. Quebec public prosecutor’s office said it is satisfied with the court’s decision. Spokesman Jean Pascal Boucher said his office will continue to work to ensure justice is served in the case. “The order for a ‘new’ trial that the Crown seeks is simply not susceptible of being executed,” Justice Allan Hilton wrote for the Court of Appeal majority in 2017. “There is no factual basis before us to believe that such a trial will or could plausibly ever happen. I would accordingly dismiss the appeal because it is now moot.”In a ruling from the bench, the Supreme Court said the lower court’s decision was wrong. “It remains a current litigation even if the accused’s return to Canada is not probable,” Chief Justice Richard Wagner said on behalf of the court.The fact Thanabalasingham was deported to Sri Lanka — which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Canada — doesn’t make the case theoretical, Wagner said. Despite no longer being in Canada, a Sri Lankan national who had his murder charge stayed because of unreasonable delays in his trial isn’t done with the Quebec justice system just yet.Canada’s highest court has ruled the murder case of Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham should be sent back to the Quebec Court of Appeal, the Ottawa Citizen reported. read more

Security a top priority in Côte dIvoire senior UN official says on

Tomorrow’s quadripartite discussion in Monrovia – including the participation of officials from the neighbouring Governments and representatives of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) – will assist the security of the region, as well as address the sources of conflict, including return of refugees and distribution of humanitarian aid, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire, Albert Gerard Koenders, told UN Radio.UNOCI and UNMIL reinforced their patrols after an attack last month by armed elements in Petit Guiglo, in Côte d’Ivoire’s western region. Blue helmets have deployed to Petit Guiglo, and are supporting Ivorian forces and protecting civilians through ground and air patrols.Security is a primary concern as Ivorians prepare for the 21 April local polls. A 2010 presidential election, meant to be a culminating point in the peace process, resulted in months of violence when former President Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after losing to Alassane Ouattara, who finally took office in May 2011.“If you have elections then tensions will rise,” said Mr. Koenders, who is also the head of UNOCI.“Our mandate is to assist Ivorian actors to ensure that in all those different constitutes there are peaceful elections, and also calling on politicians to remain calm and really have open and free and transparent elections,” Mr. Koenders noted. He added UNOCI also provides technical support to the polls through support to the independent electoral commission.UNOCI has been supporting the reunification and stabilization of the West African country, split by civil war in 2002. The Security Council extended its mandate by one year in July 2012, but it is possible that its responsibilities might be revised when the 15-member body discuss UNOCI this year.“We are slowly in a situation of transition in the mission,” said Mr. Koenders, who is at the UN Headquarters this week to discuss the situation in his region and to defend the proposed Mission budget for the upcoming year. He depicted UNOCI as focusing on four factors: security, confidence-building, human rights and job creation. As a peacekeeping mission, Mr. Koenders said, UNOCI is creating a “security net” for Ivorians to take over their security with less assistance from the UN.The UN is also assisting capacity-building measures to better unify the army and to create more confidence between the army and the gendarmerie.Mr. Koenders noted the Mission’s work in support of respect for human rights and equitable justice, which “requires an investment and political willingness from Ivorian authorities with support in a technical way from us.” He added that justice must be equitable and “independent of the political affiliation of those who are suspected of serious crimes.”To assist the Ivorians, the UN is supporting the Government and partners to establish “catalytic programmes to create jobs, return of social service and so on” so that “increasingly the Ivorians see the dividends.” Economic growth in Cote d’Ivoire is predicted to reach 9 per cent this year, Mr. Koenders said, “but in many areas it is important the people see the difference.” read more