Not new to the trial of the co-accused of the MMA

News 17 January, 2018
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    Jean-François Desbiens

    Wednesday, 17-jan-2018 18:32

    Wednesday, 17-jan-2018 18:35

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    SHERBROOKE | The jury remained sequestered all day without a protest, Wednesday, the 7th day of deliberations in the trial of the three co-accused from the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA).

    • READ ALSO: The judge asks the jury to provide a last-ditch effort to agree

    On Tuesday, the eight men and four women had asked the judge Gaetan Dumas what might happen if they were unable to agree on a unanimous verdict. The judge had urged the jury to conduct a last-ditch effort to reach a verdict.

    For the accused, Thomas Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaître, the wait is interminable. More than three years after their arrest and indictment for criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people when the tragedy of Lac-Mégantic in July 2013, the three accused are still unaware of what the future holds.

    If the eight men and four women failed to agree, the tribunal could always request that they make a verdict for each of the three accused. A plausible scenario, but not desirable for Me Charles Shearson, one of the lawyers of Thomas Harding.

    “We would be willing to live with a verdict in the case of one or two defendants and a mistrial for the other or the other two, but this is not desirable. Mr. Harding’s hope, a purpose to all of this.

    The impasse is not ideal for him or for anybody,” said Me Shearson.

    The deliberations will continue Thursday at the courthouse of Sherbrooke.