Toronto van attack suspect appears in court
TORONTO, CA — The man accused in a deadly van attack in April is facing three additional counts of attempted murder.
Alex Minassian’s lawyer declined to comment on how his client plans to plead.
Minassian, the accused charged with first -degree murder appeared in court Thursday, from jail through a TV video screen.
He appeared thinner and somber.
Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Minissian hardly showed any emotion, as three additional charges were read in court. Another hearing is scheduled on September 14 of this year.
Minissian is facing trial for the attack in Toronto last April 23, where he drove a rental van, and ran down pedestrians along Young and Finch Street.
Eight women and 2 men died on the spot while 16 were injured.
The 25-year-old from Richmond Hill, Toronto now faces 10 counts of first – degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.
In Canadian law, Murder is first degree when it is planned and deliberate. It carries an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years.
Legal advocates have been outspoken about the case.
“I’m confident that this defendant will be convicted – the world saw what happened to the city of Toronto, the country saw what happen to the city of Toronto – the evidence speaks for itself. In a criminal process, it takes time to get disclosures which are the evidence and have it produced – I have no doubt in my mind that we see a conviction,” said Saron Gebresellasi.
Gebresellasi pointed out that Toronto has never dealt with anything like this.
“It ‘s important that our country keep this on top of our mind and our country pulls together and stand with the family and ensures that no family stands behind.”
Meanwhile, outside the courthouse, the lawyer of Minissian stressed that his client’s action was NOT an act of terrorism. He refused to talk about his client’s condition because he said the community especially the victim’s families are grieving. He has confirmed though that the timing and process are longer than normal. What matters according to Bytensky is that the justice system will be presented professionally.
As per the Criminal law here in Ontario, everyone charged with an offense is presumed to be innocent and according to the legal councils present here today we are looking at a very challenging and lengthy trial.