Terror trial faces delay
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.