The anglophone Quebecker charged in the deadly Parti Québécois election-rally shooting clashed repeatedly Thursday with a judge, who warned him not to use the court as a “pulpit” for his political views.
The admonishment had limited effect on reining in the accused gunman, Richard Henry Bain, who took to loudly expressing his usual invectives about separatism and the PQ government from inside the prisoner’s box.
Mr. Bain was representing himself at his preliminary hearing. He is charged with murder in the Sept. 4 shooting outside a PQ election rally that left a stagehand dead and a second man seriously wounded.
Quebec Court Judge Pierre Labelle is weighing whether to impose a publication ban at the pre-trial hearing, which will determine whether there is enough evidence to send Mr. Bain to trial. Pending his ruling, the judge imposed a temporary prohibition.
The judge frequently intervened to warn the 62-year-old Mr. Bain to control his outbursts and cease interrupting proceedings. At one point, he threatened to turf the hunting-lodge operator out of the courtroom.
Mr. Bain nonetheless got in some commentary, referring to the PQ as an “apartheid government” and insisting that his case was political.
PQ Premier Pauline Marois has characterized the shooting outside her party’s victory party in downtown Montreal as an assassination attempt.
Normally, the defence seeks a publication ban. However, in this case the ban was sought by Crown prosecutor Éliane Perreault to ensure Mr. Bain would get a fair trial. Mr. Bain, who has been eager to voice his political opinions in court and has contacted the media from jail, opposed the publication ban.
Mr. Bain is charged with 16 criminal counts including first-degree murder, attempted murder and arson. He is accused of murdering lighting technician Denis Blanchette outside the Métropolis nightclub while Ms. Marois was addressing jubilant party supporters inside.