MONTREAL – A preliminary hearing for Luka Rocco Magnotta has adjourned for a day while the judge weighs whether the public and the media should be barred from attending the procedure.
The high-profile case was back in court, in a high-security room, as lawyers argued over an exceptional request to hold the hearing behind closed doors.
Magnotta is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Chinese-born student Jun Lin last May. He has pleaded not guilty.
Lawyers for the accused, the prosecution, media organizations and Lin’s family all spoke in court today. The evidence discussed is subject to a publication ban.
Quebec court Judge Lori-Renee Weitzman is expected to issue a ruling on the matter on Tuesday morning.
Clad from head to toe in white, Magnotta sat quietly, with his arms folded in his lap. His feet and hands were shackled and he was in a glass box that was sealed off from the rest of the courtroom.
Magnotta’s lawyers were trying to have the public and media booted from the hearing, which is to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial.
While the evidence presented during the preliminary inquiry is already subject to a publication ban, his legal team argued that the only people who should be allowed to remain for the hearing were the prosecutors, the judge and a court clerk.
Authorities named Magnotta as a suspect after the severed remains of Lin, a Montreal engineering student, were mailed to the Ottawa offices of the federal Conservatives and the federal Liberals along with two Vancouver schools.
More remains were found at a Montreal park.