1st Quebecer to have murder charge stayed due to Jordan ruling to remain in detention

Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham, a Montreal man who saw second-degree murder charges against him stayed last week, will remain in detention pending his deportation for at least another month.

Thanabalasingham, 31, is the first Quebecer charged with murder to have his case stayed because of the Jordan ruling — a Supreme Court decision issued last July which imposes strict limits on the waiting time for trials.

At a detention review hearing Thursday, Immigration and Refugee Board member Stéphane Morin concluded that Thanabalasingham, a native of Sri Lanka, was both a flight risk and a danger to Canadian society. 

Thanabalasingham's brother, Thanarupan Thanabalasingham, offered to post bond for him and have him stay with him and his wife.

He testified at the hearing, occasionally giving contradictory answers.

Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham has several previous convictions for domestic violence. 

He pleaded guilty to assault charges related to three incidents in 2011 and 2012 and was ordered to serve four months in jail. The victim of the assaults was his wife, Anuja Baskaran.

He was later accused of killing his wife.

However, his case never went to trial. Last week, the second-degree murder charge laid against him in 2012 was stayed because of unreasonable delays in getting to trial.

Morin at one point asked Thanarupan Thanabalasingham if he thought courts in Canada were wrong to convict his brother of domestic violence offences.

"No," he replied.

Morin then asked Thanarupan Thanabalasingham if he thought his brother had done anything wrong.

"According to my knowledge, he did not do anything wrong," he replied.

Morin concluded that allowing Thanabalasingham to stay with his brother would not constitute a reasonable alternative to detention.

Police report accepted as evidence

Thanarupan Thanabalasingham's wife also testified.  Her name is protected by a publication ban.

She testified that her brother-in-law had stayed with her family in the past and that she never feared for her safety or the safety of her children.

She testified that, in her opinion, Thanabalasingham's problems were caused by his wife often calling police.

She also said she was unaware of how Thanabalasingham's wife had died.

Thanabalasingham's wife, Anuja Baskaran, died in 2012 after her throat was cut.

Morin concluded that the sister-in-law was not aware of the relevant facts in the case.

Morin allowed a police report on Baskaran's death to be admitted into evidence over the objections of Thanabalasingham's lawyer.

While he acknowledged that people are not guilty until they are convicted, Morin said the report had probative value, that is, was admissible because it was prepared by a member of a police force.

Thanabalasingham will remain in detention until at least his next review hearing, which is scheduled for May 11.

Those detained while awaiting deportation have automatic detention review hearings every 30 days.