Trial of Toronto van attack suspect Alek Minassian to be heard by judge alone

The trial of the man accused of killing 10 people and injuring 16 others as he drove a van onto a Toronto sidewalk more than a year ago will be heard by a judge alone.

Alek Minassian, of Richmond Hill, Ont., is charged with ten counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder in the attack, which occurred in the early afternoon hours of April 23, 2018.

Minassian appeared pale and gaunt during a brief court appearance on Wednesday before Justice Anne Molloy. Minassian’s lawyer, Boris Bytensky, requested the judge-alone trial during Wednesday’s proceedings, and the Crown did not object.

Also on Wednesday, Bytensky withdrew a motion to move the trial to another location, citing concerns about whether his client could get a fair trial in Toronto.

The trial is scheduled for February 2020.

“As the result of the consent of all parties to proceed without a jury, there is no need to move the case from Toronto and the case can proceed here,” Bytensky told CBC Toronto after Wednesday’s proceedings.

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