Ter­ror trial faces de­lay

Montreal Gazette - - CITY - PAUL CHERRY pcherry@post­media.com

The jury hear­ing the trial of Sabrine Djer­mane and El Mahdi Ja­mali re­turned to the Mon­treal court­house for the first time in a week on Tues­day, only to find out the case is now faced with a con­sid­er­able de­lay.

“I’m sure it is a shock for you,” Su­pe­rior Court Jus­tice Marc David told the jury af­ter in­form­ing the panel he has to deal with two mo­tions, out­side of the pres­ence of the jury, be­fore de­ter­min­ing how and when the trial will re­sume. “It is in­con­ceiv­able that your work will be done be­fore Dec. 22.”

David told the jury that if they are not fin­ished by Dec. 22, they will be given two weeks off dur­ing the hol­i­days. In the worst-case sce­nario, David said, the trial will con­tinue un­til the end of Jan­uary.

“There are things that I can con­trol and there are things I can­not con­trol,” David said to the jury be­fore apol­o­giz­ing.

The jury be­gan hear­ing ev­i­dence on Sept. 13 and David orig­i­nally es­ti­mated the trial would come to an end on Nov. 10. On Nov. 7, the Crown an­nounced it had fin­ished pre­sent­ing all of its ev­i­dence and David told the jury that de­fence lawyers Charles Ben­mouyal and Ti­ago Murias were ex­pected to an­nounce if they would mount a de­fence on Nov. 10.

David de­cided to de­lay that an­nounce­ment af­ter be­ing pre­sented with the two mo­tions. The Mon­treal Gazette is un­able to pub­lish what the mo­tions in­volve be­cause the jury has not been made aware of their con­tents. The young cou­ple are al­leged to have be­gun tak­ing steps to pre­pare a pres­sure­cooker bomb based on in­struc­tions found in a ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda mag­a­zine and to have made plans to leave Canada on May 1, 2015 to join ISIL in Syria.

Be­fore the trial be­gan, Djer­mane, 21, and Ja­mali, 20, pleaded not guilty to the four charges they face.

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