03/23/2016 13:34 EDT | Updated 03/24/2017 01:12 EDT

Lawyer for train driver in Lac-Megantic derailment seeks stay of proceedings

MONTREAL — The lawyer for the train driver charged in the Lac-Megantic derailment that left 47 people dead in 2013 wants a stay of proceedings in the case against his client.

Thomas Walsh has filed a petition on behalf of Tom Harding in Quebec Superior Court and alleges his client's charter rights have not been respected.

Walsh says the Crown has refused to make its theory in the case clear and the prosecution's decision to not have a preliminary hearing to test the evidence has made it difficult for Harding.

He also makes a reference to Harding's heavy-handed arrest by the provincial police tactical squad in May 2014, which Walsh argues was abusive.

Harding, railway traffic controller Richard Labrie, train operations manager Jean Demaitre and defunct railway company Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway all face 47 charges of criminal negligence causing death. That reflects the number of people who died  after the train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic's downtown core.

The accused have pleaded not guilty and opted for trial by jury.



The Canadian Press