Canada Closing arguments resume at Lac-Megantic trial

21:52  08 january  2018
21:52  08 january  2018 Source:   MSN

Lac-Megantic closing arguments continue today

  Lac-Megantic closing arguments continue today Closing arguments at the Lac-Megantic criminal trial enter their third day today as defence lawyers continue to make the case their clients should be found not guilty. Tom Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre have all pleaded not guilty to one count of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people.On July 6, 2013, a runaway train carrying crude derailed in Lac-Megantic and exploded, killing the 47 and destroying part of the downtown core.The Crown presented its arguments Wednesday, Demaitre's lawyer was front and centre Thursday and Labrie's is expected to address the jury today.

The lawyer for one of three men charged with criminal negligence in the deadly Lac - Megantic train derailment tried to distance his client Thursday from the railway at the heart of the 2013 disaster.

Closing arguments at the Lac - Megantic criminal trial are into their third day as defence lawyers continue to make the case their clients should be found not guilty.

SHERBROOKE, Que. - Tom Harding, the conductor of the train that derailed, exploded and killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, didn't act perfectly the night of the tragedy, but he acted reasonably, his lawyer said Monday in his closing statements.

Lawyer Charles Shearson told the 14 jurors he admits Harding didn't conduct a proper brake test on the train after he parked the oil-laden convoy outside the small town the night of July 5, 2013.

But Harding wasn't acting outside normal company procedures, Shearson suggested.

Shearson added the company that owned the railroad, Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, didn't inform Harding of the latent risks of parking a train in such a location and his deviation from the rules that night was not a criminal act.

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Closing arguments have resumed at the jury trial of three men charged with criminal negligence in the Lac - Megantic rail disaster that killed 47 people.

In his closing arguments Friday, Guy Poupart said Richard Labrie had a limited role in the tragedy in which 47 people were killed when a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in Lac - Megantic in the wee hours of July 6, 2013.

  Closing arguments resume at Lac-Megantic trial © Provided by thecanadianpress.com

"We can't criminalize every departure from a rule," Shearson said. "Although Harding's conduct was not perfect, it was reasonable. When you look at the entirety of the evidence you have the image of a very reliable man."

The Crown has argued Harding neither applied the required number of brakes on the train nor tested the system properly to ensure the brakes were working before he left for the night.

Early the following morning, the train carrying crude oil began moving on its own, headed down to Lac-Megantic, derailed and exploded, killing the 47 and destroying part of the downtown core.

Harding and his two former colleagues, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre, have all pleaded not guilty to one count of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people.

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SHERBROOKE, Que. — Closing arguments have resumed at the jury trial of three men charged with criminal negligence in the Lac - Megantic rail disaster that killed 47 people. The lawyer for one of the accused, who was head of train operations that fateful night in 2013

Closing arguments have resumed at the jury trial of three men charged with criminal negligence in the Lac - Megantic rail disaster that killed 47 people.

Labrie was the traffic controller and Demaitre the manager of train operations.

Shearson told jurors the evidence presented during the trial shows the proper number of brakes that needed to be applied to the train was only discovered after the tragedy.

Moreover, he said in order to find Harding guilty, jurors need to believe he showed a "marked and substantial departure from the norm — (the accused's) mindset has to be so careless it shows a wanton disregard for the lives and safety of others."

Shearson replayed a recording heard earlier during the trial of a conversation between Harding and another railway employee the night of the derailment, during which the accused is told the locomotive caught fire after he had left for the night.

Harding is heard asking whether someone was heading to the fire site and if he needed to return to help out.

He is told the situation was under control and to go back to bed.

"The evidence of (Harding's) state of mind that night shows he was conscientious and not reckless," Shearson said.

The Crown delivered closing arguments in Sherbrooke, Que., last week, as did lawyers representing Labrie and Demaitre.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas is expected to give his instructions to the jury later this week.

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