Aide to Stephen Harper testifies at Luka Magnotta hearing

MONTREAL – A senior confidante to Prime Minister Stephen Harper has testified at the preliminary hearing in a gruesome killing-and-dismemberment case.

Jenni Byrne has held various high-ranking roles under the Harper Tories and is now the director of political operations for the Conservative Party of Canada.

She testified in a Montreal courtroom this morning at the hearing for Luka Rocco Magnotta.

Her brief appearance came as a group of Ottawa-based witnesses were being heard today. Two Ottawa police officers and a Canada Post inspector also testified this morning.

Evidence presented at the preliminary hearing is subject to a publication ban.

Today is the ninth day of the preliminary hearing. It is expected to adjourn later today and pick up again on April 8.

Magnotta is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying and dismemberment of Chinese engineering student Jun Lin.