Canadian cannibal pornstar Luka Rocco Magnotta's hearing will be open to the public after judge rejects media ban
Actor is accused of killing Chinese student, dismembering his body and posting a video of the crime on the internet
Tuesday 12 March 2013
A Canadian judge rejected a request to ban the press and public from the pre-trial hearing of a Montreal man accused of murdering and dismembering a Chinese student, eating parts of the corpse and posting an online video of the grisly crime.
But Judge Lori Renee Weitzman left intact the customary ban on publication of evidence brought forward in such preliminary hearings.
In the hearing, prosecutors will seek to persuade the court that they have enough evidence against small-time porn actor Luka Rocco Magnotta for the case to go to trial.
In an unusual request, Magnotta's lawyer had asked the judge to exclude reporters and the public from the proceedings entirely, arguing that this would prevent leaks of the evidence and guarantee Magnotta's right to a fair trial.
Weitzman said her ruling took into account the competing rights of freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial and she believed journalists would abide by the publication restrictions.
She said she would revisit the defense's request if necessary.
The killing of Chinese student Jun Lin in the early summer of 2012 shocked Canadians and grabbed headlines around the world, sparking an international manhunt that led to Magnotta's arrest in Germany last June.
A self-styled porn actor, model and gay escort with an extensive online presence, Magnotta, 30, is accused of killing Lin, a student in Montreal, and of posting a video on the internet of the stabbing death, and of himself defiling the body and eating parts of it.
Lin's hands and feet were mailed to the offices of political parties in Ottawa and schools in Vancouver. His torso was found stuffed into a suitcase in a pile of garbage behind Magnotta's Montreal apartment, and his head was later discovered in a nearby park.
Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including first-degree murder, indignities to a body and publishing obscene materials.
Magnotta sat in a glass box today, the second day of the hearings.
Lin's family flew to Montreal from China for the hearing and his father, Diran Lin, sat silently in the back row of the courtroom.
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