NEWS
06/20/2016 12:33 EDT | Updated 06/21/2017 01:12 EDT

Lawyer for one of the accused in Lac-Megantic disaster wants more evidence

LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. — The Crown must divulge more evidence against the train conductor charged in the Lac-Megantic derailment that killed 47 people, his lawyer told court Monday.

Thomas Walsh said he needs more evidence to support his motion for a stay of proceedings against his client, Tom Harding, who along with two other former railroad employees faces 47 charges of criminal negligence causing death.

The Crown replied it has given the defence all necessary information and that the evidence sought by Walsh is not pertinent.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas spent Monday listening to arguments on a series of preliminary motions before the beginning of the trial, which is not expected to start for several more months.

Other motions, including a request to have a bilingual trial and for proceedings to be moved away from Lac-Megantic, will be heard at a later date.

A runaway train owned and operated by Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway derailed on July 6, 2013. It was carrying crude oil and exploded on impact.

Harding, his former colleagues Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre, as well as the railroad company — which is under bankruptcy protection — have all pleaded not guilty to the 47 charges.

Marc-Antoine Carette, who is representing MMA, asked the court for permission to stop defending the railroad because he said he is not receiving clear directions from the company.

His motion will be heard in September.

Lawyers for Labrie and Demaitre have also asked for access to more Crown evidence and their requests will be heard in September as well.

Conviction on a charge of criminal negligence causing death carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.