RCMP officers considered the possibility that John Nuttall was "developmentally delayed" months before he was arrested for allegedly plotting to explode pressure-cooker bombs outside the British Columbia Legislature, his trial has heard.
Mr. Nuttall and his wife, Amanda Korody, were arrested on July 1, 2013, after they allegedly left the pressure-cookers outside the government building. Their B.C. Supreme Court trial began in early February. They have each pleaded not guilty to four counts, including knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity.
The jury has spent much of the trial watching police surveillance video. The only person to testify has been the undercover officer who first approached Mr. Nuttall in February, 2013, as part of a sting. On Monday, Mr. Nuttall's lawyer began her cross-examination.
Marilyn Sandford asked the officer – who cannot be identified – about a meeting that was held on March 1, 2013. Ms. Sandford said notes from another Mountie indicate that "among the things discussed was ensuring that the scenarios consider that the target may be developmentally delayed."
The officer told the court he could not recall a meeting on that day, but said it was possible it occurred.
Mr. Nuttall's intellect and mental state have been recurring themes at the trial. He has repeatedly been heard making bizarre statements and factual errors. In video played Monday, Mr. Nuttall could be heard telling his wife he could hear their cat, even though they were in different cities. (His wife said she could also hear the cat.)
She noted Mr. Nuttall suffers from Guillain-Barré syndrome, a nerve disorder, and asked the officer whether he was aware Mr. Nuttall was addicted to heroin and uses methadone.
The officer said he was not initially aware Mr. Nuttall was a methadone user. The officer said he and his superior officer discussed Mr. Nuttall's health several times, though he did not provide much detail in his testimony.
Ms. Sandford asked about a specific incident in which the officer told Mr. Nuttall he needed a package delivered quietly, and that the person who was supposed to carry out the mission had bailed. She suggested the officer wanted Mr. Nuttall to volunteer to deliver the package, an assertion with which the officer agreed.
Ms. Sandford later asked the officer whether he was trying to convince Mr. Nuttall he was involved in "nefarious criminal conduct." The officer again agreed.
Ms. Sandford appeared to indicate Mr. Nuttall was prone to telling tall tales. She noted that in addition to his claim that he was planning jihad – which he told the undercover officer about shortly after they met – Mr. Nuttall also said he had brothers in the Canadian military who were fighting in Afghanistan, and that he was a hacker.
The officer said he reported the claim about the brothers in the military to his superior, but that he did not believe the claim about the hacking.
The jury earlier in the day watched video of Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody in a motel room hours after the alleged plot failed. Mr. Nuttall at one point could be heard apologizing to Allah.
"I'm sorry, Allah, we tried," he said.
Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody could be seen on the video packing up their items. Mr. Nuttall says they were about to leave the country through arrangements made by other members of the alleged plot – all of whom were undercover officers.
As they walked out of the motel room, Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody were swarmed.
"Police!" the officers yelled, followed by rapid commands for the couple to get on the ground and roll over.