A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has rejected an application to exclude the father of a murdered 13-year-old girl from listening in remotely to post-trial proceedings.
The girl was found dead in a Metro Vancouver park in 2017, and a jury found Ibrahim Ali guilty of her first-degree murder last December.
Ali’s trial lawyers, Kevin McCullough and Ben Lynskey, have been refusing to attend post-trial hearings, citing safety concerns over an allegation the girl’s father brought a loaded gun to the Vancouver courtroom on the day of the verdict.
Ali’s lawyers had argued the man’s presence, even virtually, would be distracting and intimidating to the point it would compromise their ability to defend their client.
But the judge says the victim’s father hasn’t been charged in the alleged gun incident, although he was arrested and released with orders not to go to the courthouse in person, not to contact Ali or his lawyers, and not to possess any firearms.
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Bernard says those conditions along with the move to a secure courtroom strike the right balance between safety and the father’s interest in following the proceedings.
Brock Martland, who represented the father, had told the court that his client didn’t bring a gun to court on Dec. 8, the day of the verdict.
The father can’t be named because of a publication ban on the identity of his daughter, whose body was found in a park in Burnaby, B.C.
Ali has yet to be sentenced in the case. He faces a mandatory life term with no chance of parole for 25 years.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 9, 2024.