POLITICS

Luka Rocco Magnotta murder trial to begin Sept. 29 as jury selection complete

09/19/2014 10:11 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:00 EDT
MONTREAL - Luka Rocco Magnotta's first-degree murder trial in the slaying and dismemberment of Jun Lin will begin Sept. 29.

The date was finalized Friday just after selection of the final jurors.

Magnotta, 32, has pleaded not guilty to five charges, including first-degree murder, in connection with the May 2012 of Chinese engineering student Lin, 33.

Besides the murder charge, Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to committing an indignity to a body; publishing obscene material; criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; and mailing obscene and indecent material.

In all, 16 people have been plucked from an initial group of 1,600 who were summoned to court.

They are made up of 14 bilingual jurors — six men and eight women — and two alternate jurors who will be let go on Sept. 29 if no problems arise with any of the other 14 by then.

The alternate jurors are a female geologist and a male auditor, while jurors 13 and 14 are two women: a translator and an administrator in a butcher's shop.

Twelve of the 14 will deliberate at the end of the trial and come up with a verdict.

The process of finding bilingual and impartial jurors lasted eight days.

Before the selection process began, the parties had been concerned it could take up to three weeks to find suitable jurors.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer will oversee the trial, which is expected to last between six and eight weeks.

He adjourned the case until next Tuesday, when more pre-trial arguments will take place under a publication ban.