Trial of ex-employees of the MMA: still no verdict after four days of deliberation

News 14 January, 2018
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    Jean-François Desbiens

    Sunday, 14 January 2018 17:25

    Sunday, 14 January 2018 17:28

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    SHERBROOKE | Four days of discussion have not been sufficient to ensure that jurors are able to reach agreement on a unanimous verdict regarding the three former employees of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) accused in the wake of the tragedy in Lac-Mégantic.

    Is it because they have difficulty to reach a consensus or it is simply the work of analysis and assessment of the evidence that is long? Difficult to assume anything because since the eight men and four women retired to deliberate on Thursday morning, they are not manifested, do not question the judge Gaetan Dumas.

    Robert Bellefleur, the Coalition committed citizen for a rail safety in Lac-Mégantic, is not surprised that the verdict is expected, given the circumstances surrounding this tragedy and the many factors that could contribute to it.

    “We’re talking about three employees in the database who were working in conditions that are not obvious and with few resources, and coaching. With everything that has come out at the trial on the shortcomings of the MMA, may be have difficulty to account for this serious offence of criminal negligence, and I would not disagree with them if that was the case.”

    Richard Labrie and Jean Demaître are accused of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people, as Thomas Harding for whom the judge has left open the possibility of two other verdicts, are those of dangerous operation of railway equipment causing death, or without having caused the death.

    The wait for a verdict continues Monday for a fifth day so that the jurors will continue their deliberations.