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Amanda Korody, left, and John Nuttall.

At least one of the two suspects accused of plotting to detonate bombs among Canada Day crowds has been transferred to a psychiatric ward, according to his lawyer.

Tom Morino, counsel for John Nuttall, told reporters outside B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Wednesday that his client has been certified under the B.C. Mental Health Act, but he did not have any more information about the diagnosis.

"The only reason I'm aware that he has been certified under the Mental Health Act is because my client called me and told me," Mr. Morino said. "I have received no official information one way or another about the assessment, or the basis upon which the finding was made."

Mr. Morino said there are many reasons why Mr. Nuttall may have been transferred, including worries over potential self-harm, but said it "raises the spectre of NCRMD," an acronym for Not Criminally Responsible due to Mental Disorder.

Mr. Morino represented Mr. Nuttall in other criminal trials a decade ago, but declined comment when asked whether Mr. Nutall has had previous mental-health issues.

Both Mr. Nuttall and his co-accused, Amanda Korody, made a brief court appearance on Wednesday morning. Ms. Korody is being represented by Vancouver lawyer Mark Jetté, who was not available for interviews. It is not known whether Ms. Korody has also received mental-health certification.

It was the second B.C. Supreme Court appearance by Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody since being arrested on July 1. Their lawyers are still waiting to review the full evidence in the case, and have not yet made a decision over whether to ask for a bail hearing. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 20.

David MacAlister, criminology professor at Simon Fraser University, said Mr. Nuttall's mental-health certification will allow doctors to impose treatment on Mr. Nuttall if deemed necessary.

"It's quite unusual that B.C. does this, that we essentially put people in a situation where we can force treatment on them," Prof. MacAlister said. "There's no hearing or anything like that, it's just a decision that's made in the institution itself."

The mental-health certification could also prompt a judge to order an assessment of Mr. Nutall's fitness to stand trial, but Prof. MacAlister said it's possible to be mentally disordered and still stand trial.

"The standard for fitness assessment is pretty low," Prof. MacAlister said. "You have to understand you're in a criminal trial, you're accused of a crime, what the role of a judge is, what your defence lawyer and prosecutor is there for, and that's about it."

Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody are facing terrorism charges over an alleged plot to plant pressure cooker bombs in crowds outside the B.C. Legislature on Canada Day. RCMP have said they were tracking the alleged plot for months, and that they ensured the devices built were inert.

Mr. Morino said it will likely be many months until a trial is under way.

"Everyone's anxious to move forward with it, but I expect the trial dates will be as late as 2015."