MONTREAL — The judge overseeing the trial of alleged murderer Luka Rocco Magnotta has denied a motion by the defence to limit what media can report on the criminal proceedings.
Magnotta’s lawyer was seeking a publication ban on the reporting of any evidence presented at his client’s murder trial, which begins in September.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer denied the motion Monday.
Cournoyer did maintain a publication ban, however, on the reporting of any evidence that is currently being heard or has been heard that could be presented before a jury at the trial.
Defence lawyer Luc Leclair expressed concerns about his client’s ability to obtain a fair trial amid the heavy media coverage of the case.
He also said he is worried about the jury being contaminated by that same media attention.
“In order to ensure that the selected jurors remain firmly focused on the evidence presented in the trial and not influenced by extraneous media report or opinions of reporters, it is important the media not report on the evidence heard,” Leclair wrote in the motion.
The motion was challenged by various media, including The Canadian Press.
Magnotta is charged with first-degree murder and other charges in the death of student Jun Lin in May 2012.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The motion is one of several being presented this week in the lead-up to the highly anticipated trial.
The motions that have not been heard are all subject to a publication ban until Cournoyer rules on each individually.
Magnotta, sporting short cropped hair and wearing a white T-shirt, was in court Monday, listening to arguments.
The trial is set to begin on Sept. 8.