NEWS

Luka Magnotta's hearing continues, 1 lawyer short

03/14/2013 08:44 EDT | Updated 05/14/2013 05:12 EDT
Luka Magnotta's preliminary hearing continues today after it took another emotional turn on Wednesday when one of the defence lawyers stepped down.

Lead defence lawyer Luc Leclair told the court one of his Toronto-based colleagues, Raphael Feldstein, would remove himself from the case after the Crown raised the issue about a possible conflict of interest.

The details of the alleged conflict, as with other evidence discussed during the proceedings, are covered by a publication ban.

On Wednesday, Judge Lori-Renée Weitzman asked defence lawyer Leclair and his colleagues to consider the conflict of interest issue.

After a break, Leclair only managed to say a few words before falling back into his chair and breaking down in tears.

The judge ordered bailiffs to clear the courtroom so Leclair could collect himself.

Magnotta still has two other lawyers defending him — Toronto-based Leclair and Montreal criminal attorney Pierre Panaccio.

Still emotional, Leclair thanked Feldstein for his spirit and assistance.

The three-week hearing will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to send Magnotta to trial.

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