In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that people providing humanitarian aid, including family members, were exempt from smuggling laws.But the Crown told the trial that the top court’s exemptions didn’t apply because the accused had a role in organizing and executing the voyage, which it said was a money-making scheme costing migrants thousands of dollars. Defence lawyers told the trial their clients were trying to escape poor living conditions and seeking a better life. A Canadian court has found four Sri Lankan men not guilty of human smuggling, The Star reported.Justice Arne Silverman of the British Columbia Supreme Court said Thursday that while there was evidence of organized crime in the smuggling operation, he wasn’t satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the men were connected to any crime. He also said the men were asylum seekers aboard the MV Ocean Lady get to asylum on the B.C. coast in October 2009. “I am also not satisfied that their actions were to obtain either directly or indirectly a financial or material benefit, or that any of the them obtained one.”The men were part of a group of 76 young men from Sri Lanka who arrived on B.C.’s coast in October 2009.They travelled about 45 days across the Pacific Ocean seeking refuge in Canada from a civil war that ravaged their homeland, Silverman said in his decision. But Silverman said the Crown didn’t prove its case. The accused — Francis Anthonimuthu Appulonappa, Hamalraj Handasamy, Jeyachandran Kanagarajah and Vignarajah Thevarajah — smiled, laughed and shook hands with their lawyers after the judge released his ruling. “I have determined that these four accused were asylum seekers and that there is an air of reality to the defence of mutual aid.” The Crown had argued the four accused were in charge of the smuggling operation and out to make a profit on people seeking asylum in Canada.
US stock market rises modestly at midday AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Mar 24, 2015 10:08 am MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – U.S. stock indexes are rising modestly at midday as investors assess the latest news on consumer prices and company earnings.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 14 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 18,130 as of 11:57 a.m. TuesdayThe Standard & Poor’s 500 index crept up two points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,106.The Nasdaq rose the most, gaining 19 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5,030. The index is 18 points from its all-time high reached 15 years ago.Miner Freeport-McMoRan fell 1 per cent after the company said it would slash its quarterly dividend by 84 per cent because of falling commodity prices.Crude oil fell 25 cents to $47.20 a barrel in New York.The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was little changed at 1.91 per cent.