The jurors of Lac-Mégantic have cost almost $ 311 000$

News 2 February, 2018
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    Thomas Walsh, chief counsel, Thomas Harding, accused

    Caroline Lepage

    Friday, 2 February 2018 22:31

    Friday, 2 February 2018 22:31

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    SHERBROOKE | The jurors at the trial of the three ex-employees of the MMA paid a total of 47 charges of criminal negligence following the tragedy of Lac-Mégantic, have cost nearly $ 311 000 $ to the taxpayers.

    The request for access to information the Newspaper has learned that the 14 jurors have cost 310 984 $ at the trial of Thomas Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaître, all of which were paid on January 19, after nine days of deliberation. The trial started on 2 October at the palais de justice de Sherbrooke.

    The daily allowances granted to the jury during these four months amounted to 211 989,76 $. According to the law on jurors, each member receives 103 $ per day and $ 160 as of the 57th day. An allowance for child care or dependents can also be granted.

    As the trial was bilingual, the services of two translators, who have a total of 35 698,42 $, are the second most important expenditure.

    In addition, the amount of 26 829,84 $ has been spent to feed the jury.

    Hotel at $250

    Before being sequestered, on 10 January, two jurors have been eliminated at random. Therefore, 12 of them deliberated for nine days before returning their verdict of acquittal.

    During deliberations, during which jurors were cut off from the outside world, the ministry of Justice has paid 26 746,20 $ to stay in a hotel. This amount represents nearly $ 250 per juror per day.

    During this period, the jurors had a secure transportation during their travels, to get to the hotel, at the palace of justice, etc, for a total of 9569,81 $.

    Not the choice of the accused

    For Charles Shearson, one of the lawyers of Mr. Harding, it is of significant sums, which nonetheless remain in the standards of a trial of four months, with thirty witnesses.

    “This was not our choice to go with a jury trial,” he argued.

    According to him, the three accused would have preferred to have a separate trial before a single judge.

    “They cleared a lot of human resources for the trial-there,” said Gaetan Bourassa, a lawyer for Mr. Demaître.