B.C. jury set to begin deliberations Thursday for accused human smugglers

Jury to begin deliberating on Tamil migrant case

VANCOUVER — A jury in Vancouver is expected to begin deliberations on Thursday in the case of four men accused of smuggling hundreds of Tamil migrants into Canada.

Justice William Ehrcke of the Supreme Court of British Columbia has finished summarizing the evidence presented during the three-month trial.

Two Canadians and two Sri Lankans have pleaded not guilty to organizing the voyage of the MV Sun Sea, which involved crossing the Pacific Ocean on a dilapidated cargo vessel without a formal crew.

The Sun Sea left Thailand in July 2010.

It arrived off the shore of British Columbia in August carrying 492 Sri Lankan Tamils who intended to claim refugee status.

Ehrcke says he will complete his instructions Thursday morning, and then the jury will be sequestered to reach its verdict.

The Canadian Press