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UQAM student Hamza Babou granted bail

04/30/2015 04:00 EDT | Updated 08/08/2015 03:59 EDT
Hamza Babou, a UQAM student who has been in jail for more almost two weeks, has been granted bail. 

Quebec Superior Court Justice James Brunton granted the 23-year-old man bail on Thursday afternoon, ruling his detention invalid.

Babou's release comes after his lawyer, Véronique Robert, challenged his detention.

Babou was arrested in mid-April for allegedly disrupting a class at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). He is facing 14 charges, including uttering threats and assault, in connection with a student demonstration.

The charges are for summary offences, which generally means they are not considered serious violent crimes.

Despite that, on April 17, Municipal Court Judge Denis Laberge refused to grant Babou bail. 

In his decision, Laberge said he was concerned about the safety of staff and students at UQAM. He also stated that he doubted Babou would respect his bail conditions, adding his release would undermine public confidence in the justice system..

In today's ruling, Brunton concluded that the lower court judge erred.  He said Laberge had no credible evidence to establish that Babou might fail to respect his conditions or that his release would undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.

Still in police custody

A throng of supporters present in the courtroom waved to a smiling Babou after the decision was rendered.

Babou will remain in custody until tomorrow, when he is scheduled to appear in municipal court to face his 14 charges.

The Crown prosecutor is also expected to lay additional charges Friday, which could lead to a new request that Babou remain behind bars.

Neither Babou's lawyer nor the Crown prosecutor made any comment after the Superior Court hearing.​

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