POLITICS

Jun Lin's father attends Magnotta first-degree murder trial

09/29/2014 06:49 EDT | Updated 11/29/2014 05:59 EST
MONTREAL - A father's search for answers in his son's grisly slaying has brought him halfway around the world from China to a Montreal courtroom.

Diran Lin, whose son Jun Lin was killed and dismembered in May 2012, is attending the first-degree murder trial of his killer, Luka Rocco Magnotta.

Lin's lawyer spoke to reporters after Monday's proceedings and said he is looking forward to getting answers in the death of his 33-year-old son.

"Some people just don't understand why a father wants to watch evidence like this, but it's his choice, it's his son," Daniel Urbas said as Diran Lin stood near him.

"There's a personal interest — he wants to know what happened to his son, how it happened ... and a question that might never be answered: why?"

"It will not get any better for him, he'll learn some answers but I don't think it'll really overcome what he feels every day."

Magnotta entered fresh not-guilty pleas Monday to all five charges he faces, including murder.

While Magnotta has admitted to causing Lin's death and dismemberment, defence lawyer Luc Leclair announced Monday he will seek a not criminally responsible verdict by way of mental disorder.

Diran Lin spent the morning in the courtroom with a translator sitting next to him as the lawyers presented their arguments. He'll watch the majority of the proceedings from a special private room set up for him adjacent to the courtroom that allows him to confer with lawyers and get explanations from translators.

"Mr. Lin will be here virtually every day, depending on the nature of the evidence," Urbas said. "He'll be there to see it himself."

Diran Lin is the only relative to travel to Canada for the trial. Jun Lin's mother and sister are not here. Urbas said neither woman could even bring themselves to come anywhere near the courthouse for the preliminary inquiry in 2013 and both elected to stay in China for the trial.

Neither Lin's mother nor sister has resumed working yet. Lin's father has left his job to attend the trial.

"Every time we try to talk to the mother about it, it's like it happened yesterday," Urbas said."If they're going to be suffering, if they're going to be unhappy, they might as well be at home ... because there is no point."

The trial judge, Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer, has agreed in part to a request by the family to not allow the publication of certain images and videos.

The parents had presented a motion asking for certain exhibits to be kept from the public eye.

Urbas says they have spent many hours discussing how the Canadian justice system works, but the father doesn't want to comment on the case itself.

"If you think as a parent, if you as a parent see your child in this evidence, you have an opinion," Urbas said. "But he's not going to pronounce it until the verdict."

Diran Lin plans to stay in Montreal until that decision comes down.

"The father has a full intention to be here until the end of the trial, he wants to be here when they announce a verdict on the five indictments and he will not miss that," Urbas said.

"He wants to be present. That's the least he can do."