Tragedy of Lac-Mégantic: the trial of the three accused begins on Monday

News 30 September, 2017
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    Jean-François Desbiens

    Friday, 29 September, 2017 11:06

    Friday, 29 September 2017, 19:11

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    SHERBROOKE – A trial is very long and it expected to begin Monday at the courthouse of Sherbrooke: the three ex-employees of the Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA) company in the heart of the tragedy train in Lac-Mégantic.

    Thomas Harding was the conductor of the train, the one which has secured the convoy on the railroad tracks in Nantes, a neighbouring town of Lac-Mégantic. Jean Demaitre was the manager of exploitation for the MMA, while Richard Labrie was controller of the railway.

    The three men are accused of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people after the train derailment that occurred in the middle of the night, July 6, 2013, in downtown Lac-Mégantic.

    The final stage of the jury selection took place Friday at the courthouse of Sherbrooke.

    Ten men and four women will hear the trial, the duration of which is estimated to be three or four months. In the end, 12 jurors will be selected at random for the deliberations and will have to determine the guilt or not of each of the accused.

    To be held criminally responsible, they must have committed very serious misconduct or behaviour that deviates from significantly from the norm.

    The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, by their alleged failure to act or actions that they have posed, to have been negligent and so that the middle of the night, the train loaded with oil begins to flow unattended and derailed in downtown Lac-Mégantic, where 47 people are, unfortunately, deceased.

    The public ministry wants to hear from 36 witnesses, is 24 civilians, 11 police officers and an expert.

    The jurors should expect that a large part of the proof is very technical.

    The criminal negligence causing death is liable to a fine, but also a long prison sentence.

    Monday morning, the prosecution will make its opening statement and then will hear its first witnesses, likely members of the police who have made the analysis of many scenes.