Judge to give instructions to jurors today in ferry sinking trial


VANCOUVER – The jury in the criminal trial of a crew member from the B.C. passenger ferry Queen of the North is expected to begin its deliberations today after more than three months of testimony.

Karl Lilgert has been on trial on a charge of criminal negligence causing the deaths of two passengers, who haven’t been found since the ferry sank in March 2006.

The jury has heard from dozens of witnesses, including passengers, crew, the families of the victims, and Lilgert himself.

Lilgert told the trial the crash happened despite his best efforts to navigate the ship through rough weather and around as many as two small boats in the area.

Last week, Lilgert’s lawyer told the jury the sinking was the result of honest mistakes, while suggesting B-C Ferries saddled the ship’s crew with unreliable equipment and poor staffing.

The Crown said Lilgert’s testimony was full of lies, which prosecutor Robert Wright says were designed to cover up for the fact that Lilgert was simply not paying attention.

Judge Sunni Stromberg-Stein will begin her legal instructions to jurors in the morning, after which they will retire to deliberate a verdict.

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