The parents of a Chinese student who was slain and dismembered showed up at a Montreal courthouse on Thursday, just as their son’s alleged murderer appeared in person before the judge.
Luka Rocco Magnotta, dubbed the “Canadian Psycho,” was present at the Montreal court for the first time since his extradition on Monday from Germany.
The parents, sister and uncle of the victim — Lin Jun (林俊) — arrived at the courthouse shortly after the suspect, but did not meet reporters and were taken by police to a separate room where they watched a broadcast of the proceedings.
“The victim’s family was met by the prosecutor. They were present,” said Jean Pascal Boucher, a spokesman for the prosecution.
“We are constantly aware of the need to keep the family informed,” Boucher said.
On Tuesday, Magnotta pleaded not guilty to killing Lin, in an appearance via a video link from a detention center where he had been held. Authorities had said they did not want the suspect to appear in person at the courthouse for safety reasons.
Magnotta’s lawyers had been expected to request their client undergo a full psychiatric evaluation, but proceedings on Tuesday focused on legal scheduling for preparations for a possible trial.
Magnotta’s next court date is scheduled for early next year and a preliminary hearing is expected for March next year.
Magnotta, who worked as an occasional porn actor and escort, is alleged to have used an ice pick to stab Lin — a student at Montreal’s Concordia University — sometime between May 24 and 25. He is thought to have carved up the body, abused the corpse and filmed the act, before posting the video online.
He is also accused of having mailed the victim’s hands and feet to federal political parties and two Vancouver schools.
Magnotta is also charged with committing indignities to a body, publishing and mailing obscene material, as well as criminally harassing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of parliament.