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Toronto Man accused of last year’s Toronto van attack to stand trial before a judge

The man accused of killing 10 people and injuring more than a dozen others in Toronto’s van rampage last year will stand trial before a judge next winter.

Alek Minassian was allegedly behind the wheel of a rental van that targeted and struck pedestrians on busy sidewalks on Yonge Street south of Finch Avenue on April 23, 2018.

The 26-year-old is facing 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. Under the Criminal Code, murder charges must proceed before a jury unless lawyers for the crown and defence consent to a trial before a judge alone.

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The parties in Mr. Minassian’s case made this agreement at a judicial pretrial meeting at the Superior Court of Justice on Wednesday.

“As a result of the consent of all parties to proceed without a jury, there’s no need to move the case from Toronto,” Mr. Minassian’s lawyer, Boris Bytensky, told reporters after the hearing, in response to an earlier application to change trial venues. He added that his client’s case will be heard before “a very senior, experienced judge, and I’m sure that Mr. Minassian will receive the fairest trial possible.”

Mr. Minassian was present at Wednesday’s hearing, wearing a grey button-down shirt and black pants. He was not addressed in court.

The trial is set for February of 2020.

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