Alleged separatist shooter fit to stand trial: judge

An artist's sketch shows Richard Henry Bain (C), the man charged in Quebec's election night shooting, in court with psychiatrist Chantal Bouchard (2nd R) and an interpreter in Montreal, January 28, 2013.

Credits: REUTERS


MONTREAL - A judge has declared alleged separatist rally shooter Richard Henry Bain fit to stand trial for first-degree murder and 15 other counts.

In an oral decision from the bench on Monday, Judge Jean-Paul Braun said there's no overriding evidence suggesting the fishing-lodge owner can't face the charges.

"I may be left with questions" but in the circumstances I am of the opinion that it was not established " that the accused to declared unfit, so he's declared fit."

Bain, 62, sitting in the prisoner's box, replied: "Jesus Christ just spoke through you, your honour, thank you."

The ruling, which follows three adjournments on technicalities, came amid Bain's usual outbursts that at times frustrated the judge, Crown and Bain's own defence team.

When the Quebec court judge said he wasn't sure if he should continue to the next stage because he wasn't on the Superior Court, Bain quipped, "you should be. You should be on the Supreme Court of Canada."

Earlier, when Bain interrupted a psychiatrist's testimony, defence lawyer Elfreide Duclervil swivelled around in her chair and said "stop" in a firm voice.

Bain is charged with murdering stage technician Denis Blanchette outside Montreal's Metropolis club on Sept. 4, as Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois was inside giving her victory speech.

Marois has said she believes the shooting rampage was an attempt on her life.

Braun's next order of business will be to hear arguments from Duclervil, who wants to be dropped from the case.

The legal aid lawyer cites a ruling that Bain doesn't qualify for subsidized counsel.

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