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Canada Supreme Court affirms acquittal of Tamil men charged with human smuggling over Sun Sea arrival

The Supreme Court of Canada has effectively upheld the acquittal of three Tamils who were charged with human smuggling following the arrival of a ship carrying hundreds of Tamil asylum seekers to British Columbia.

In a decision on Thursday the court rejected the government’s application for an appeal hearing on the case.

In August 2010, the Canadian navy intercepted the cargo ship MV Sun Sea carrying 492 Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka.

 Lesly Emmanuel, Nadarajah Mahendran and Thampeernayagam Rajaratnam were charged with violating the Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act by organising, inducing, aiding or abetting the illegal entry of people into Canada.

The Crown alleged the men were part of a human-smuggling operation linked to organised crime.

The three men were acquitted in early 2017 by a jury in British Columbia’s Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of Canada gave no reasons for refusing to hear the case.