Magnotta appears to wipe away tears at preliminary hearing

MONTREAL — The Canadian Press

Luka Magnotta arrives at Mirabel International Airport in Montreal. Mr. Magnotta faces a preliminary inquiry on March 11, 2013, regarding charges of first-degree murder in the slaying and dismemberment of Chinese-born student Jun Lin last May (Montreal Police)

The man accused of killing and dismembering a Chinese foreign student appeared to wipe away tears Thursday as more evidence against him was introduced at a preliminary hearing.

Luka Rocco Magnotta has been mainly impassive during the four days he’s spent in a courtroom, sitting with his arms folded and listening without emotion.

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But on Thursday, he appeared to wipe away tears while a Montreal police investigator gave evidence.

Shackled and sitting in a fortified prisoner’s box in a high-security courtroom, Mr. Magnotta lifted his hand to his mouth during testimony and rubbed and wiped his eyes from under a pair of glasses.

Mr. Magnotta, 30, is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying last May of Jun Lin, a Concordia University engineering student from China.

Mr. Magnotta is also facing four other charges relating to the case.

The evidence being heard at the hearing is subject to a publication ban.

A second homicide investigator was among those to testify Thursday. Earlier in the day, a British journalist subpoenaed by the Crown also testified.

Alex West is a reporter for the Sun newspaper in England and was in Montreal to cover the hearing before he was told he would be called to testify.

Mr. Lin’s father, Daran Lin, was also back in court during the morning after leaving the courtroom in tears earlier this week.

The Lin family made the trip to Canada, at considerable cost, to honour their relative’s memory and to follow the legal proceedings.

The hearing will determine whether there is enough evidence to send Mr. Magnotta to trial for the murder of Mr. Lin, 33. At least three weeks have been set aside for the preliminary phase.

The hearing has also attracted intense media attention. Law, criminology and journalism students have routinely attended.

One 22-year-old man who described himself as a supporter of Mr. Magnotta has actually driven up from North Carolina to attend the hearing and try to make make contact with the accused.

On Wednesday, a member of Mr. Magnotta’s legal team withdrew from the case after the Crown raised the possibility of a conflict of interest in the case.


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