Case of Parti Quebecois election-night shooting back in court

MONTREAL – The legal question of whether a man charged in Quebec’s election-night shooting is mentally fit to stand trial will be addressed in court today.

Richard Henry Bain has previously had his fitness hearing delayed several times over the last seven weeks.

Bain is back before a judge today as lawyers discuss a fitness report and question the psychiatrist who wrote it.

The fishing-lodge owner faces 16 charges, including first-degree murder, related to the attack at a downtown Montreal club where the Parti Quebecois was celebrating its election victory last September.

A stagehand was shot dead and another was wounded by a single bullet.

Premier Pauline Marois, who was giving a victory speech inside the theatre, has said she believes she was the target of a political assassination attempt.

The case has been beset by delays after Bain initially refused to speak to a psychiatrist who spoke to him in French, then additional time was needed to translate documents into English.

Scheduling conflicts with the psychiatrist, and the need to consult other documents, have also caused delays.

The judge has said he wants to get the issue of fitness out of the way so the case can move forward.

Bain will also have to figure out who will represent him.

While he’s being represented by a legal-aid lawyer for now, he doesn’t qualify for the service.

Bain has told the court he can’t afford a lawyer.