More bizarre turns in trial of alleged PQ shooter

ontreal police hold a suspect after shots where fired as newly elected Quebec premier Pauline Marois spoke during her victory speech at the Metropolis in Montreal Sept 4, 2012.



MONTREAL - A linguistically charged murder case was delayed for the fourth time in five weeks Monday with no word on whether the defendant is fit to stand trial.

Translation problems, a defence lawyer who wants off the case and Richard Henry Bain's right to an English hearing have all slowed the process to a crawl.

The hearing on Monday was delayed for 15 minutes when a translator showed up late for testimony from a psychiatrist who requested the right to speak French only.

The judge, Crown and defence, all of whom are French, asked their questions to Dr. Anne-Marie Bouchard in accented English.

Things grew painfully slow when the translator relayed their questions back into French despite the fact the doctor said she understood English.

After several awkward minutes, Crown attorney Eliane Perreault drew chuckles in court when she held up her hand and interrupted the translator mid-sentence, saying "you don't have to translate into French."

A second problem emerged when the Crown noted that the psychiatrist's report referenced meetings between Bain and two other doctors.

Though Bain, 62, had refused to speak to either doctor, lawyers for both sides nonetheless requested copies of the reports.

The request prompted a one-week adjournment that irritated Bain and drew sympathy from Judge Jean-Paul Braun.

"I'm like you, I want to finish this (assessment)," the judge told Bain.

Bain is charged with murdering a stage technician outside a Montreal nightclub on Sept. 4, as Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois was inside giving her victory speech.

Bain has appeared in court seven times since the shooting but his psychiatric assessment was delayed last month when he refused to be evaluated by a unilingual French doctor.

Bouchard eventually assessed Bain in English, but court heard last week that Bain refused to discuss details of the case, leading to an incomplete report.

Defence lawyer Elfreide Duclervil said the report suggests Bain's refusal to co-operate is either because of an underlying psychiatric disorder or simply "rigid" behaviour.

The judge hinted he will eventually declare Bain fit to stand trial.

Duclervil has tried to withdraw from the case, citing a ruling that Bain doesn't qualify for legal aid.

His fishing lodge north of Montreal has fallen on hard times, he insists he's broke and judge Braun has so far refused Duclervil's request to quit.

The tension between client and lawyer has been palpable amid Bain's frequent court tirades against separatists, peppered with references to Jesus Christ.

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