NEWS
01/12/2018 08:25 EST | Updated 01/12/2018 10:02 EST

Accused Edmonton attacker fit to stand trial; still undergoing second assessment

EDMONTON — A man accused of attempted murder in a knife attack on an Edmonton police officer has been found fit to stand trial, but an assessment on his mental state at the time of the alleged assault is not yet complete.

Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, was in provincial court Friday to face charges related to a Sept. 30 attack outside a football game in Edmonton.

Const. Mike Chernyk was injured when a driver crashed through a barrier, got out of his vehicle, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing the officer.

Sharif also faces dangerous driving charges related to a speeding cube van that hit and injured four pedestrians a few hours later as it raced through the city's downtown with police in pursuit.

His lawyer, Karanpal Aujla, said an assessment at Alberta Hospital, where his client remains, has found that Sharif is currently fit to stand trial.

"He's fit in the sense that he understands ... what's going on. He understands the proceedings. He understands the jeopardy he's facing and everything around the proceedings," Aujla said outside court.

Sharif's case has been delayed for another 30 days to complete an assessment on whether he could be found criminally responsible in a trial.

Aujla said it's important to know his client's mental state at the time of the alleged offences.

"He could be in a state of flux in the sense he may be fine now, and he's doing better now," he said. "However, maybe at the time of the offences that may not have been the case. That's what the second assessment is going to determine.

"I hope once the final assessment is done, we'll be in a better position to know what we are looking at."

Sharif is to be back in court Feb. 12.