POLITICS

Magnotta prosecutors reveal their other mission: comforting victim's family

06/19/2012 06:08 EDT | Updated 08/19/2012 05:12 EDT
MONTREAL - The Crown prosecutors tasked with leading the criminal case against accused killer Luka Rocco Magnotta revealed Tuesday that they have another mission: helping the victim's family trust Canada's justice system.

Helene Di Salvo, who will argue the high-profile case with fellow prosecutor Louis Bouthillier, said they will meet with Jun Lin's loved ones very soon to explain how the Canadian justice system works.

Lin, who was brutally killed and dismembered last month in Montreal, was a Chinese national studying computer science at Concordia University.

The 33-year-old's family has been in the city since arriving from China about two weeks ago.

"My colleague and I really want them to believe in our justice system and we'll do our best to reassure them that we'll work very, very hard in this case," Di Salvo said Tuesday at the Montreal courthouse, following Magnotta's first Canadian court appearance since his arrest in Germany earlier this month.

"It's the beginning of a very, very long year or two years, so we'll try to help them (get) through this."

Di Salvo said that even after Lin's family returns to China, the prosecution team will stay in touch with them and explain each legal step along the way.

The prosecution will be represented by two experienced Crown lawyers. Bouthillier and Di Salvo have worked numerous high-profile cases. In 2001, Di Salvo successfully prosecuted former world-champion boxer Dave Hilton for repeatedly molesting his daughters.

She has not yet met with Lin's relatives, but says she knows that his death has been extremely difficult for them.

Di Salvo also says that finding Lin's missing head is critical for the family's healing process.

Montreal police officers, who have repeated the significance of their search for the head, have said it's the only body part still unaccounted for. The hands, feet and torso were found in Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal.

Di Salvo said that while finding the head would also be helpful for the case, the well-being of Lin's loved ones comes first.

"We are thinking about the family when we talk about that and this is very important for the family of the victim," Di Salvo said.

"(We will) try to help them as best we can to, and if possible, to get past this ordeal, which will be quite extraordinary for them."