Accused in Montreal terror trial won't present a defence; final arguments Dec. 4
November 21, 2017 - 6:44 AM
MONTREAL - Lawyers for two young Montrealers have told a jury they won't mount a defence at their trial on terror-related charges.
Jurors hearing the case of Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali were informed of the decision by their respective lawyers Monday.
"In terms of the evidence, you now have the complete picture," Superior Court Justice Marc David told the jury.
The Crown alleges Djermane, 21, and Jamali, 20, wanted to leave Canada to join Islamic State and had also accumulated the necessary ingredients to make a bomb.
It rested its case earlier this month after calling 31 witnesses.
The next step will be closing arguments, beginning with the Crown on Dec. 4, followed by the defence.
That process is expected to last up to four days and will be followed by final directives.
Jurors could be sequestered as of Dec. 12, David said, meaning the case likely won't spill into the holidays as jurors had been warned previously.
Earlier on Monday, a charge of facilitating a terrorist act was withdrawn against the pair after David issued a ruling on motions filed a few weeks ago.
"The consequence of my judgment this morning, for reasons that are purely legal, means that the indictment is now different," David said, without offering any further explanation.
The two now each face three charges: attempting to leave Canada to commit a terror act abroad; possession of an explosive substance; and committing an act under the direction or for the profit of a terrorist organization.
They have pleaded not guilty.
The RCMP arrested the couple in April 2015 after investigators received a tip they were planning to leave Canada in short order.
Warrants executed at a condo they'd rented and at the home of Jamali's parents turned up materials that could be used to rig an explosive device as well as evidence they were preparing to leave Canada the following month.
One of the jurors was dismissed for personal reasons Monday, meaning 11 jurors will decide the fate of the accused.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2017