A Sri Lankan man accused of killing his wife in Quebec, Canada five years ago has been deported after the charge against him was stayed because of an unreasonable delay, Canadian media reported.
Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham, a 32-year-old permanent Canadian resident, was set to appear today at a detention review hearing, but it has been cancelled, a spokesperson at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada said Thursday.
Thanabalasingham's second-degree murder charge was stayed in April after Superior Court Justice Alexandre Boucher ruled it had taken too long to get to trial.
Thanabalasingham was 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.
He was ordered deported in April because of an earlier conviction on domestic abuse charges involving his wife, Anuja Baskaran.
The assaults predated Baskaran's killing at the apartment she shared with her husband in August 2012. Thanabalasingham was charged with second-degree murder but pleaded not guilty
Thanabalasingham, who came to Canada as a refugee, initially appealed the deportation order, but a month later asked to be returned to Sri Lanka as soon as possible.
Quebec's Director of Penal and Criminal Prosecutions (DCPC) appealed the stay of the murder charge and, last week, Appeal Court Justice Nicole Duval-Hesler agreed to expedite the case and hear arguments in September.
Jean-Pascal Boucher, a spokesperson for the DCPC, said Thursday the prosecution plans to continue with the appeal process even though Thanabalasingham has left the country. Canada does not have an extradition agreement with Sri Lanka.
If the appeal is granted, Boucher said the DCPC would work with the federal Justice Ministry "to see what we could do."
"For now, it's too soon because we have to respect the Court of Appeal, we have to respect the authority of court, we will do what we have to do in the appeal that is pending right now, and we will see what is happening with the decision at the end," he said.
Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr, a spokesperson for Canada Border Services Agency, declined to comment directly on the case, citing privacy legislation.
She added, however, that the CBSA is legally bound to enforce removal orders.
The office of federal Immigration Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, who could have stepped in to block Thanabalasingham's deportation, did not immediately return a request for comment. (CBC)