The husband and wife accused of a plot to bomb the B.C. legislature grounds on Canada Day are terrorists who "twisted and perverted" Islam and conspired to kill innocent civilians, the Crown said in its closing submission Wednesday.
John Nuttall and Amanda Korody are on trial in B.C. Supreme Court. They were arrested July 1, 2013, and accused of placing potentially explosive pressure-cooker devices outside the legislature in Victoria.
Closing submissions began this week and defence lawyers have said the accused – heroin addicts who were receiving welfare payments – were manipulated into the plot by undercover RCMP officers posing as members of a terror network.
But Crown prosecutor Peter Eccles said Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody chose to carry out the plan and did exactly what terrorists do – they conspired to make bombs to maim innocent bystanders.
"They are terrorists. They told us so, and they showed us," he said.
Marilyn Sandford, Mr. Nuttall's lawyer, earlier this week said the couple's intention was to damage the government building with the pressure-cookers, not injure or kill people.
But Mr. Eccles said that argument raises two key questions: Why weren't the pressure-cookers timed to explode when no one was around instead of mid-morning, and why were they set 15 minutes apart?
"What else could the persons who put those devices on the lawn have intended to do other than kill innocent bystanders? If they didn't want to kill innocent bystanders, have them go off at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m., or at night. No, the timing tells us everything we need to know about the intention," he said.
Mr. Eccles said the 15-minute delay was designed to target the first responders who would be called to the initial blast.
"[Mr. Nuttall] liked that idea; he liked herding people into the zone where they would be killed," he said, adding a similar strategy was used in the Bali bombings in 2002.
Mr. Eccles said Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody, who had both converted to Islam, researched the religion online and used it as an excuse to engage politically and ideologically. "They cloaked it all in Allah. This is not Allah's doing. This is their doing. They did it. It really is that simple," he said.
Mark Jetté, Ms. Korody's lawyer, told the jury Wednesday his client played a "small and peripheral role" in building the pressure-cooker devices and was not the target of the police investigation.
Mr. Jetté said it was police who forced Ms. Korody to become involved, pointing to a June 25, 2013, document in which an undercover officer was told to "insist" Ms. Korody attend a meeting.
The lawyer also pointed to multiple instances in which Ms. Korody responded to Mr. Nuttall by saying, "Yes, sir." Mr. Jetté said that showed Ms. Korody was only "obeying orders."
"She's consented to play the obedient Muslim woman and wife," he said.
Both Mr. Jetté and Ms. Sandford said Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody feared the men in the plot and believed they could not back out, given the time and money that had been invested.
Mr. Jetté said Ms. Korody – who along with her husband had, at times, been homeless – received free trips and meals. He said Mr. Nuttall also received cash, sometimes for errands and sometimes for nothing at all.
Mr. Jetté said Ms. Korody considered backing out the day before the bombs were to go off but decided she could not, for fear of what the undercover officers posing as members of a terror network would do.
"Standing in [Ms. Korody's] shoes, do you think it likely you could have said, without any consequences at all, 'Well, never mind. It was nice knowing you. Good luck with that.' Of course not," Mr. Jetté said.