Lawyers: Close hearing in Canada body parts case
Lawyers for the Canadian porn actor who is accused of dismembering his Chinese lover and mailing the body parts to political parties and schools argued Monday that the public and the media should be barred from a hearing to determine whether there's enough evidence for trial.
Police suspect Luka Magnotta of killing student Jun Lin and posting a video online that shows him stabbing and having sex with the dismembered corpse. The case drew worldwide attention when Lin's body parts were mailed to the headquarters of two of Canada's political parties. Magnotta was arrested in Europe and pleaded not guilty in June to first-degree murder.
Quebec court Judge Lori-Renee Weitzman was expected to issue a ruling Tuesday on whether the hearing should be held behind closed doors.
Magnotta sat quietly, wearing white, in a glass box that was sealed off from the rest of the courtroom. His feet and hands were shackled.
While the evidence presented during the preliminary inquiry is already subject to a publication ban, Magnotta's 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.
The request for the closed courtroom is related to an unspecified issue in Magnotta's personal and medical history.
The case became known when a package containing a severed foot was found at Canada's ruling Conservative Party headquarters on May 29. That same day, a hand was discovered at a postal facility, addressed to the Liberal Party of Canada.
The torso of the 33-year-old Lin was found in a suitcase at a garbage dump in Montreal outside Magnotta's apartment building.
About a week later, a missing foot and hand were found mailed to two schools in Vancouver. Police said notes were included in most of the packages but declined to say what they said.
Magnotta spent a few days partying in Paris before moving on to Berlin, where he was caught as he read stories about himself at an Internet cafe. He did not contest his extradition from Germany and arrived in Montreal in June on a Canadian military plane.