(Adds lawyer's comments)
By Leila Lemghalef
MONTREAL, March 12 A Canadian judge rejected on
Tuesday a request to ban the press and public from the pre-trial
hearing of a Montreal man accused of murdering and dismembering
a Chinese student, eating parts of the corpse and posting an
online video of the grisly crime.
But Quebec court Judge Lori Renee Weitzman left intact the
customary ban on publication of evidence brought forward in such
In the hearing, prosecutors will seek to persuade the court
in Montreal that they have enough evidence against small-time
porn actor Luka Rocco Magnotta for the case to go to trial.
In an unusual request, Magnotta's lawyer had asked the judge
to exclude reporters and the public from the proceedings
entirely, arguing that this would prevent leaks of the evidence
and guarantee Magnotta's right to a fair trial.
Weitzman said her ruling took into account the competing
rights of freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial
and she believed journalists would abide by the publication
She said she would revisit the defense's request if
The killing of Chinese student Jun Lin in the early summer
of 2012 shocked Canadians and grabbed headlines around the
world, sparking an international manhunt that led to Magnotta's
arrest in Germany last June.
A self-styled porn actor, model and gay escort with an
extensive online presence, Magnotta, 30, is accused of killing
Lin, a student in Montreal, posting a video on the Internet of
the stabbing death and defiling the body and eating parts of it.
Lin's hands and feet were mailed to the offices of political
parties in Ottawa and schools in Vancouver. His torso was found
stuffed into a suitcase in a pile of garbage behind Magnotta's
Montreal apartment, and his head was later discovered in a
Lin's family flew to Montreal from China for the hearing and
his father, Diran Lin, sat silently in the back row of the
courtroom on Tuesday for part of the session.
"(He's here) to honor his son, to witness how our judicial
system works," the family's lawyer, Daniel Urbas, told
"He believes that he trusted our society with his son once
and he wants to see whether and how he can trust our society
with the judicial process that's going to lead to some
resolution of the criminal charges related to his son's death."
Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to several charges,
including first-degree murder, indignities to a body and
publishing obscene materials.
Magnotta sat in a glass box on Tuesday, the second day of
the hearings. He wore a white T-shirt and purple pants and faced
the front of the room, closing his eyes occasionally.
(Writing by Louise Egan; Editing by Janet Guttsman, Peter
Galloway and Eric Walsh)