Toronto van attack suspect to make virtual appearance as court grapples with logistics of murder trial

TORONTO — The man who killed 10 people when he drove a rental van down a busy sidewalk is set to appear in virtual court today as his trial nears.

Alek Minassian faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder in connection with the April 2018 incident.

Court is grappling with the logistics of holding the high-profile murder trial set to begin on Nov. 9 under strict COVID-19 courtroom limits.

Crown attorney Joseph Callaghan said last week the trial may be held over Zoom with the option of allowing families and the public to watch in a large courtroom.

Read more: Trial for Toronto van attack suspect may be virtual due to COVID-19 pandemic

Justice Anne Molloy said last week the main issue remains the 10-person courtroom limit as set out by the chief justice earlier this month.

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Minassian’s trial by judge alone was set to begin on April 6, but was postponed because of the pandemic.

In early March, Minassian admitted in court to planning and carrying out the attack.

The judge has said the case will turn on Minassian’s state of state of mind at the time of the attack, not whether he did it.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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