Grieving parent breaks down, leaves court, at Luka Magnotta hearing

MONTREAL – A Chinese father left a courtroom in tears after hearing evidence at the preliminary inquiry of Luka Magnotta, who is accused of killing and dismembering his son.

The preliminary hearing for Magnotta has begun with testimony from police witnesses. He is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Jun Lin.

As a second police witness took the stand, Daran Lin was overcome with emotion and left the courtroom trembling and in tears, assisted by his translator as he left the room.

The hearing is subject to a publication ban on the evidence being presented. However, members of the public and media are allowed to witness it. A unique defence attempt to have the courtroom closed was rejected Tuesday.

The first witness to take the stand at the preliminary hearing was the lead investigator in the case.

Michel Bourque is a Montreal police major crimes investigator and was the primary detective in the case against Magnotta.

Later a crime-scene technician, Caroline Simoneau, took the stand. During a difficult bit of testimony, Lin’s father left the room.

Magnotta sat in the prisoner’s box with his arms folded. An interpreter has been stationed near him to translate French-language testimony into English.

Earlier Tuesday, the judge presiding over the hearing ruled that the public and media would be allowed to attend the legal proceedings.

Quebec court Judge Lori-Renee Weitzman denied a defence motion aimed at having the public and the media barred.

The hearing will determine whether there is enough evidence to send Magnotta to trial.

The hearing is expected to last four weeks.

Authorities named Magnotta as a suspect after the severed remains of Lin, who was studying at Montreal’s Concordia University, were mailed to the Ottawa offices of the federal Conservatives, the federal Liberals, and two Vancouver schools.

More remains were found at a Montreal park.

In addition to first-degree murder, Magnotta is charged with committing an indignity to a body; publishing obscene material; criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; and mailing obscene and indecent material.

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