Canada
I'm innocent, accused PQ shooter tells QMI Agency

Richard Henry Bain returned to court Friday, December 7, 2012.

Credits: DELF BERG/QMI AGENCY

BRIAN DALY | QMI AGENCY

MONTREAL - The man charged in a deadly separatist rally shooting tells QMI Agency that he's "innocent until I appear before my peers."

Fishing-lodge owner Richard Henry Bain made the comments Wednesday in an interview with Claude Poirier, chief crime reporter for QMI's sister news channel LCN.

Bain, speaking from an east-end Montreal jail, gave a five-minute interview about the Sept. 4 shooting in which lighting technician Denis Blanchette was killed at a downtown nightclub.

The election-night rampage disrupted a victory speech by Premier Pauline Marois, who has since said the shooting was an assassination attempt.

But the suspect told QMI that "I'm innocent until I appear before my peers, according to the justice system that we have in Canada."

Bain initially rebuffed several attempts by Poirier to elicit further comment about the shooting.

The inmate instead tried to plug a so-called "action plan" to promote harmony between English and French Canadians.

"Let the justice system take its proper course," the 62-year-old murder suspect said towards the end of the interview.

"This is the foundation of a democratic country, that I'm innocent until such time as I can go to court to defend myself."

Bain has previously made political statements about Quebec separatism, telling a radio station in September that Montreal should break off from the rest of Quebec to promote linguistic peace.

His friends have said Bain has a history of mental illness.

He faces 16 charges, including first-degree murder, after a masked man dressed in black opened fire outside the Metropolis club with a machine gun, killing the technician and wounding a colleague.

The attacker threw a Molotov cocktail at a side door, police say, and bodyguards rushed the premier off the stage.

Police tackled the suspect, who shouted "the English are waking up" before officers led him away.

Police later seized 17 weapons from Bain's home north of Montreal.

He has previously been described as a man obsessed with language politics who has mistreated French employees at his struggling fishing lodge.

At a bizarre court appearance last month Bain called himself a "Christian soldier" who was "chosen by God ... to bring peace to the English and French in Quebec."

Bain's lawyer has said her client has been "unable to give us any rational information to work on his defence."

A psychiatric evaluation was delayed because Bain refused to speak to a French doctor who had been assigned to him.

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