Magnotta wants hold on proceedings
Luka Magnotta's lawyer is trying to put a hold on criminal proceedings while working out a dispute over legal aid fees for psychiatric experts.
Magnotta's preliminary hearing continues next month on charges that he killed and dismembered Concordia University engineering student Jun Lin.
The motion from defence attorney Luc Leclair says they want a temporary stay of proceedings until the Attorney General provides proper funding for psychiatric experts for his client because legal aid will not pay full professional fees. Leclair said he may need two or three psychiatrists and he's negotiated from 1200 dollars per psychiatrist to 3000 dollars, adding there are many who turned him down flat. Leclair also said finding psychiatrists to deal with his client and to write up reports in English was difficult.
The lawyer for the Attorney General said they just received the motion and need more information but are willing to discuss the issue.
Leclair meantime wanted a publication ban on this whole affair, arguing it may twist public perception and prevent his client from having a fair trial. Such psychiatric evaluations could look at the possible defence of being non-criminally responsible due to mental illness.
The judge rejected the request. Justice Michael Stober said defence lawyers may have their clients evaluated by psychiatrists, not necessarily for non-criminal responsibility due to mental illness, but because lawyers are doing their duty by examining all possible avenues.
A hearing on the motion is expected to proceed early next month.
Photo: Police handout