Luka Rocco Magnotta

Luka Magnotta to appeal convictions and seek new trial


Luka Rocco Magnotta’s appeal is expected to be heard next month in the Quebec Court of Appeal.

MONTREAL — Luka Rocco Magnotta is appealing his conviction in the first-degree murder of Jun Lin and wants a new trial.

Documents made public by the Quebec Court of Appeal on Monday outline several reasons for Magnotta’s attempt to have the five convictions annulled, including the one for killing Lin.

The appeal centres primarily on a number of instances in which the defence suggests the judge erred in the case.

After a lengthy trial, jurors deliberated for eight days before finding Magnotta guilty on Dec. 23 of premeditated murder and four other charges in Lin’s slaying in May 2012.

The first-degree murder conviction carried a sentence of life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Magnotta, 32, was also given the maximum sentences on the four other charges.

The documents filed by Toronto-based lawyer Luc Leclair state Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer erred in a number of instances.

“The verdicts are unreasonable and unsupported by the evidence and the instructions,” one of two motions filed by Leclair read.

One motion is a direct appeal of the convictions based on questions of law and could take many months to be heard.

In it, the defence argues Cournoyer erred by:

  • Including an instruction to the jury on motive that confused the issue of intent, planning and deliberation, all while failing to tell them motive had to refer specifically to Lin’s murder.
  • Failing to instruct jurors on a limited use of “bad character” evidence relating to Magnotta.
  • Limiting the number of subjects to be covered in surrebuttal — rebuttal to the Crown’s own expert rebuttal witness.
  • Allowing the jury to discuss the case from the onset instead of waiting until after closing submissions and final instructions were complete.

Leclair also argues Cournoyer erred in instructions he provided on the Section 16 mental disorder defence Magnotta employed.

In the second motion, Magnotta is seeking leave to appeal on questions of “mixed fact and law,” which will require the authorization of the province’s highest court to go forward.

A spokesman for Quebec’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions says the appeal doesn’t come as a shock.

“For the moment it’s not a surprise for us because the accused was convicted of first-degree murder, so it’s usual that the accused appeals that kind of infraction and that kind of conviction,” Jean-Pascal Boucher said in an interview.

The appeal is likely months away as transcripts need to be filed and the prosecution must also submit its reply to the appeal.

The appeal documents were dated last Thursday and include a notice that a hearing will take place in Montreal on Feb. 18.

Leclair denied to comment further when reached by telephone.

Magnotta admitted to killing and dismembering Lin but was seeking to be found not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

Psychiatrists who testified for the defence said he was in a psychotic state the night of the killing and couldn’t tell right from wrong.

The Crown countered the crime was planned and deliberate and that Magnotta’s behaviour and actions were incompatible with those of someone supposedly suffering from a disease of the mind.

The jury heard testimony about the gruesome details of Lin’s death and that many of Magnotta’s actions were caught on surveillance video or in images taken by the accused himself.

They also heard about Magnotta’s upbringing and delved into medical files that showed he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2001.

In the roughly 48 hours following the slaying, Magnotta cut up Lin’s body into 10 pieces, mailing the hands and feet to political offices in Ottawa and primary schools in Vancouver. He also bought a plane ticket for Paris online.

When police put out a warrant for his arrest, Magnotta emptied his bank accounts and fled to Berlin on the same day.

He was ultimately arrested in an Internet cafe in the German city on June 4, 2012.

He was eventually transferred to a Berlin prison hospital, where a psychiatrist’s initial diagnosis was that he was psychotic.

The other charges Magnotta was convicted of were criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; mailing obscene and indecent material; committing an indignity to a body; and publishing obscene materials.

A Montreal lawyer representing the Lin family says they have been informed of the appeal.

Timeline of events in Luka Rocco Magnotta murder case


MONTREAL – Luka Rocco Magnotta was found guilty on Tuesday of first-degree murder and four other charges in the killing and dismemberment of Jun Lin in May 2012. Here is a timeline of events in the case.

2011:

March: Magnotta arrives in Montreal.

July: Chinese student Jun Lin arrives in Montreal.

December: Magnotta and British journalist Alex West cross paths in London, England. An email sent shortly after to West’s newspaper contains language and comments that seem to foreshadow a human killing in the near future.

2012:

April 17: Magnotta meets with psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where he’s diagnosed as having a personality disorder and is sent home with follow-up appointment.

May 18-19: A mystery man is filmed at Magnotta’s apartment, with 53 seconds worth of footage later appearing in Lin dismemberment video. In it, Magnotta is seen brandishing hand-held electric saw over the man, who is blindfolded and snoring heavily.

May 24: Lin last seen by friends and last spotted entering Magnotta’s apartment building on apartment surveillance video at 10:16 p.m.

May 25-26: Magnotta seen coming and going from apartment, emptying its contents, including victim’s body.

May 26: Montana lawyer Roger Renville sees bizarre Internet video he believes is snuff film depicting bound man being stabbed to death and dismembered.

May 26: Magnotta departs Montreal on Paris-bound Air Transat flight.

May 27: Renville alerts U.S. and Canadian police to Internet video but they dismiss it as a fake.

May 29: Montreal police called to low-rent apartment building after janitor finds dismembered torso in suitcase left in trash. Same day, foot is found in package mailed to Conservative party in Ottawa and hand is found in package in Canada Post warehouse. Package destined for Liberal party. Lin reported missing by friends.

May 30: Montreal police name Magnotta as prime suspect and say national warrant issued for his arrest. Interpol adds him to wanted list, putting police in 190 countries on alert. Montreal police find video on Internet and try unsuccessfully to have it taken down.

May 31: Montreal police confirm they have video apparently showing man tied to bed, being killed and then dismembered.

May 31: Magnotta boards overnight bus from Paris bound for Berlin.

June 1: Montreal police identify torso victim as Lin, a 33-year-old Chinese computer science student at Concordia University. Warrant issued for Magnotta on upgraded first-degree murder charge. Police say Magnotta also charged with threatening Prime Minister Stephen Harper because of foot mailed to Conservative Party of Canada offices.

June 1: Magnotta arrives in Berlin.

June 2: French police conduct “targeted” searches.

June 3: French media report Magnotta stayed in low-budget hotel in Paris. French media report police checking claims of two people who say they saw him. Chinese Embassy in Ottawa issues statement advising Chinese visitors to Canada to take safety precautions.

June 4: German police acting on tip arrest Magnotta in Berlin in Internet cafe. He faces charges of first-degree murder, committing indignity to dead body, mailing obscene material and criminally harassing prime minister and several unidentified MPs. Harper, attending Queen’s Jubilee in Britain, congratulates police on their quick work.

June 5: Two schools in Vancouver receive packages containing human remains: a hand and a foot. In Berlin, Magnotta informs authorities he will not fight extradition. Lin’s family arrives in Montreal.

June 11: Magnotta transferred to Berlin prison hospital where observing psychiatrist is convinced he’s in psychotic state.

June 13: Forensic tests allow Montreal police to confirm torso, feet and hands all belong to Lin. Berlin court orders Magnotta to remain behind bars pending extradition to Canada.

June 18: Magnotta arrives in Montreal aboard Canadian military plane. Video and photos provided by city police show him handcuffed and surrounded by detectives as he gets off aircraft.

June 19: Magnotta pleads not guilty after being formally charged with first-degree murder of Lin, along with defiling his corpse, harassing Harper and MPs, and publishing and mailing obscene material.

June 21: Magnotta makes in-person court appearance in Montreal to set future court dates (previous appearance was via video conference). Is represented by Toronto lawyer Luc Leclair.

July 1: Tip leads Montreal police to a park in Montreal’s west end, where they discover Lin’s skull near a pond.

July 4: Forensic tests allow Montreal police to confirm body part found three days earlier was Lin’s head.

2013:

March 11: Preliminary hearing begins. Magnotta’s lawyers argue, unsuccessfully, that courtroom should be closed to public and media. Courtroom remains open and more routine publication ban is applied to details of hearing.

March 12: Jun Lin’s father, Diran, leaves courtroom in tears after hearing evidence. Details of that evidence are subject to publication ban. Members of Lin’s family from China are in Canada to follow case.

March 19: Magnotta collapses in court during preliminary hearing while appearing distraught by evidence presented against him. Still handcuffed, he falls to his side in prisoner’s box and curls into fetal position.

April 12: Magnotta ordered to stand trial on five charges, including first-degree murder, in decision by Quebec court Judge Lori-Renee Weitzman.

April 29: Trial date set for September 2014.

Nov. 13: Magnotta enters fresh not-guilty pleas.

2014:

Feb. 7: Justice Guy Cournoyer grants order to allow witness testimony to be gathered in France and Germany.

July 21: Cournoyer rules out blanket publication ban on trial evidence.

Sept. 8: Jury selection begins.

Sept. 19: Jury finalized after eight days of selection hearings.

Sept. 29: Trial begins with Leclair saying his client admits to slaying Lin, but said he intends to show he was not criminally responsible at the time.

Oct. 31: Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier closes case against Magnotta after presenting 48 witnesses.

Nov. 25: Defence rests case after calling 12 witnesses.

Dec. 4: Jury hears from last of six rebuttal witnesses, bringing total number to 66.

Dec. 10: Leclair urges jurors in closing arguments to find Magnotta not criminally responsible. Tells them not to get bogged down in various expert reports and says “insanity is insanity.”

Dec. 11: In his closing arguments, Bouthillier asks jurors to convict Magnotta on all five charges. Tells them the accused was “purposeful, mindful, ultra-organized and ultimately responsible for his actions.”

Dec. 15: Cournoyer gives instructions to jurors and they are then sequestered to decide the verdict.

Dec. 16: Jury begins deliberations.

Dec. 23: Jurors find Magnotta guilty of all five charges on their eighth day of deliberations

Luka Rocco Magnotta was convicted on Dec. 23 and sentenced to life imprisonment, with no chance of applying for parole for 25 years.

Update June/July – Luka Rocco Magnotta


July 18, 2012 Associed Press

MONTREAL — An envelope addressed to Luka Rocco Magnotta which was later found to contain a suspicious powder prompted authorities Tuesday to shut down one of Canada’s biggest postal centres.

The incident began after an employee at the Montreal plant spotted Magnotta’s name as the addressee and brought the letter to a manager, said Alain Duguay, the president of the facility’s union local.

Police were called to the distribution centre, which handles much of the mail for Eastern Canada. Duguay said an officer unsealed the envelope to find a white powdery substance inside.

“That’s when they set up a security perimeter and quarantined some people,” he said of the police reaction, which involved about 15 employees and brought operations to a halt for two hours.

Police determined the substance was not dangerous, but four people — two workers and two managers — were treated for what Duguay described as adverse psychological reactions.

Magnotta is facing multiple charges, including first-degree murder, in the death and dismemberment of Montreal student Jun Lin. He has also been charged with shipping some of Lin’s body parts through the mail.

In May, workers at an Ottawa postal warehouse found a parcel containing Lin’s severed hand — addressed to the Liberal party.

The 29-year-old porn actor has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Canada Post does not have a protocol to intercept letters addressed to Magnotta, so Duguay praised the employee’s decision to alert management.

“We know that there are investigations on Mr. Magnotta — I think it was legitimate,” said Duguay, who couldn’t say whether the envelope was addressed to the Montreal detention centre where Magnotta is locked up pending trial.

“I don’t think one can ever take too many precautions.”

Neither Canada Post nor Montreal police would confirm whether the letter was addressed to Magnotta.

But Const. Anie Lemieux, a police spokeswoman, said the force has launched an investigation.

“It’s something that they will look into,” Lemieux said of the possible Magnotta connection.

“Our investigators are looking to see where this envelope came from, what the content was exactly, who it was (addressed) to.”

A few hours after the envelope was discovered, a Canada Post letter-carrier depot in the Montreal-area community of Ste-Julie was also evacuated when staffers there found a suspicious powder. The substance was in a mail bin that came from the Montreal sorting centre.

The Ste-Julie warehouse was shut down for several hours and officials later determined that the substance was not hazardous, a spokeswoman for Canada Post said.

Anick Losier did say, however, that five employees in Ste-Julie were taken to hospital as a precaution because they were feeling ill following the incident.

Due to the incident, Canada Post cancelled mail delivery Tuesday in Ste-Julie and the nearby community of St-Amable.

At the Montreal centre, Losier said one employee reported redness on her skin after she came into contact with the substance found in the letter.

She said she doesn’t expect the shutdown of the Montreal distribution centre, a plant of nearly one million square feet, to cause a major slowdown for operations.

“Tomorrow, (it) should be back to normal.”

——————————————————————

July 17, 2012

The grieving mother of murdered Chinese university student Jun Lin says her son’s brutal slaying in Montreal has changed her perception of Canada.

“We still believe that most people here are very kind, but this heinous crime happened in Canada. It’s made me reconsider what kind of place this is,” Zhigui Du said in an interview aired on CBC’s The National Monday night.

Du, who arrived in Montreal last month, says she lives in fear and sometimes feels as though everyone she passes on the street might be her son’s killer.

Lin’s torso was found in a suitcase behind a Montreal apartment building in late May, while his hands and feet were mailed to political offices and schools across the country. His head was only found earlier this month.

Lin’s mother says he left her with an idealistic view of Canada — the 33-year-old had studied the country extensively before choosing to move to study computer science at Montreal’s Concordia University — but her perception has changed since his murder.

Lin told her Canada was “a peaceful place with great respect for multiculturalism,” she said.

Luka Rocco Magnotta, an occasional porn actor with an extensive and bizarre online history, was arrested in Berlin in early June after an international manhunt. He faces five charges including first-degree murder and posting obscene material to the web.

Police say a video of Lin’s murder and dismemberment was posted to the Internet.

“What a disaster and huge pain for our family,” Du said.

“The most unbearable pain for me is that the video got posted on the internet. People watched it over and over. It’s like my son is being murdered again and again.”

Magnotta’s trial is due to begin next March.

Lin’s father, Diran Lin, said he hopes Canada can deliver justice in court.

LIN REMEMBERED

Since Lin’s death shrines filled with messages in multiple languages have been built near Concordia and the convenience store where he worked. There was also a fund set up to help his family pay for the trip to Canada from China. Du said her family received ample support from Montreal residents and the federal government of Canada. She also said that she learned of her son’s death in a television report. Lin’s parents have not decided whether to bury their son in Montreal or in China.

———————————————

July 16, 2012

MONTREAL — A lawyer who heard Luka Rocco Magnotta make allegations about being repeatedly abused and forced to have sex with animals says he could be called as a witness at his murder trial.

Romeo Salta, who says he met with Magnotta several times at his Manhattan office in the winter of 2010-11, told The Canadian Press he was informed of the possibility by the defence team last week.

Magnotta, 29, is now facing multiple charges, including first-degree murder, in the May slaying and dismemberment of Montreal university student Jun Lin. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts and is due back in court next March.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS

A day before Salta was told he might be called to testify, the attorney spoke to a reporter about Magnotta’s assertions that he was frequently abused — physically, emotionally and sexually — by a mysterious acquaintance known as “Manny.”

Salta insisted that Magnotta gave him his blessing to go public with the disturbing details of the alleged attacks, if he were ever arrested or killed. The lawyer said Magnotta wanted people to know his side of the story.

But two days after discussing his exchanges with Magnotta, Salta indicated he’s been told to say no more.

He declined to answer follow-up questions because of a conversation he said he had with Magnotta’s lead defence counsel, Luc Leclair.

“Consequently, I have been advised not to disseminate any further information than what has already been said, especially when it comes to ’Manny,’ ” Salta wrote in an email.

Leclair did not immediately return a message asking about Manny and whether Salta could be a witness.

Salta recalled that a frightened Magnotta first contacted him in December 2010 or early January 2011 over concerns police were closing in on him amid a swirl of animal-cruelty accusations.

At the time, animal-rights activists were already publicly accusing Magnotta of killing kittens in videos posted on the Internet — allegations he denied in a newspaper interview.

The Canadian Press obtained several emails Salta said he received from Magnotta over the weeks that followed their first meeting. All are dated from January 2011, more than a year before Lin’s death.

In one email, Magnotta said Manny forced him “to have sex with his puppy and numerous cats.”

But Salta said he didn’t remember if Magnotta told him whether he had ever killed kittens.

“I believe he denied intentionally harming any animal,” said Salta, who also met Magnotta in person three or four times.

“He just kept saying, ’I like animals, I like animals, I like animals — I wouldn’t intentionally do anything to hurt an animal.’

“I guess, if anything, he was implying — possibly, I don’t know — that he was forced to do it.”
But when it came to accusations against Manny, Salta says Magnotta was categorical.

In one email dated Jan. 6, 2011, Magnotta listed 42 abuses allegedly administered by Manny — many in graphic detail. He said he was subjected to bondage and torture.

The porn actor originally from Scarborough, Ont., wrote that Manny “cut me with a knife because I wouldn’t kiss his feet” and made him “eat animal parts.”

He also alleged in the same email that Manny threatened to have private detectives hunt him down and kill him if he ever disappeared.

Salta did not provide much information about Manny, except that he believed he was giving money to Magnotta, who apparently lived in New York City at the time.

The lawyer wasn’t even convinced that Manny existed, though he said he had the feeling Magnotta truly believed the abuses had occurred.

“Whether or not they actually happened is another story,” he said, noting how at one point Magnotta had discolouration near one eye that he blamed on Manny.

Magnotta also sent Salta a photo that purportedly shows marks and bruises on his face.

Salta, who has 30 years experience, said Magnotta turned down his offers to help him file a complaint against Manny.

Magnotta wrote in another email that he was considering turning himself in after the animal-cruelty allegations surfaced on the Internet.

He wrote how he would want “protective custody” if he were ever sent to a detention facility, such as New York City’s Rikers Island. He even provided Salta with his mother’s phone number, just in case he was arrested.

Police did not have any arrest warrants at the time for Magnotta. There have been no reports of him being charged with animal abuse. The Toronto police force, however, has confirmed it began investigating Magnotta in February 2011 after it received animal-cruelty complaints.

Salta said Magnotta asked him to go public with his accusations against Manny if something ever happened to him.

“He wanted the story of his abuse made known if it’s at all relevant to anybody,” said Salta, who described Magnotta as very friendly but someone who showed little emotion.

“He told me that he wanted the authorities, he wanted people, to see what he suffered.”

Asked if he thought Magnotta could come back at him for revealing confidential client information, Salta said he never technically represented him.

“If he does, he does,” he said, before highlighting Magnotta’s prolific presence on the Internet.

“It seems like he’s posted enough things that would indicate that he’s waiving any kind of confidentiality.”

Salta said he even returned $300 given to him by Magnotta at their first meeting because he hadn’t done any official work for him.

The criminal lawyer, however, wanted to stay in touch with Magnotta based on the possibility of landing a new, high-profile client.

“I wasn’t doing it just for the sake of listening to somebody tell tales,” Salta said.

“In this particular situation, he showed me enough stuff that would possibly make one conclude that there may be an animal-abuse charge coming down the road, in which case he would need a lawyer.”

Luka Rocco Magnotta video shown to students, teacher suspended


June 13, 2012 Source : http://www.thestar.com

MONTREAL—A teacher has been suspended by a Montreal school for showing high-school students the infamous video that shows a killing allegedly committed by Luka Rocco Magnotta.

The teacher showed the students the grotesque scenes on June 4 and was immediately suspended that afternoon — with pay.

Staff at Cavelier-De LaSalle High School in Montreal’s west end say they quickly informed students that a team of psychologists was available to deal with any problems students might have had as a result of seeing the video.

The teacher apparently apologized to the school by email and is now scheduled to lay out his version of the facts before a labour-relations board today.

“We condemn with one voice the actions of the teacher who showed students a video whose content was as inappropriate as it was offensive,” the school board said in a statement Wednesday.

“The incident is being taken very seriously.”

Magnotta, a male escort and porn actor originally named Eric Newman, is awaiting extradition from Germany and faces murder charges in the slaying of Chinese exchange student Jun Lin.

A memorial is planned in Montreal for Lin tomorrow night.

A video circulating on the Internet — called 1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick — is believed by authorities to show Lin’s murder in Montreal several weeks ago.

It shows someone stabbing a man and dismembering him. It then shows the killer committing acts of sex and cannibalism on parts of the corpse.

Another Montreal high-school teacher, speaking to The Canadian Press, says he has heard from several of his students who have watched the video at home and immediately regretted it.

Canada – Luka Rocco Magnotta likely to be extradited from Germany by end of June


June 07 , 2012 Source : http://www2.canada.com

BERLIN – German prosecutors said Thursday the Canadian porn star accused of the grisly killing and dismemberment of a Chinese student in Montreal last month will likely be extradited by the end of June.

“We hope that he can be extradited by the end of the month,” a spokesman for the Berlin public prosecutor’s office, Martin Steltner, told AFP following the arrest of Luka Rocco Magnotta in the German capital on Monday.

Steltner said the first official step in the extradition procedure should be taken later Thursday.

Luka Rocco Magnotta

Luka Rocco Magnotta

“Berlin prosecutors will submit the extradition request for Luka Rocco Magnotta to Berlin’s higher regional court, which is to examine whether it complies with the law,” he said.

If the court upholds the legality of the request, the public prosecutor would then submit it to the German government for a routine examination of whether the penalty the suspect would face in his home country could violate his human rights, Steltner said.

Germany does not extradite to countries that have the death penalty, which Canada does not.

The 29-year-old Magnotta was picked up in a Berlin Internet cafe looking up online articles about himself after a witness tip ended a 10-day-long international manhunt while he was on the run to Paris and then Berlin.

He is awaiting extradition to face charges in Canada of murdering 33-year-old Chinese student Lin Jun, believed at one point to have been his lover.

Magnotta allegedly filmed himself on the night of May 24-25 killing Lin with a pickaxe and dismembering the body before sending a foot and a hand to the headquarters of Canadian political parties, including the ruling Conservatives.

Canadian police said Wednesday they were probing a macabre new twist in the case after further body parts sent from Montreal turned up at Vancouver schools. It was not immediately clear whether the limbs belonged to Lin.

A torso, which has been identified as belonging to Lin, was discovered in a suitcase outside Magnotta’s apartment building, but his head and his second hand and foot were all unaccounted for before Tuesday.

A series of new videos from Magnotta – likely filmed after the murder – have surfaced on the Internet and appear to be authentic, according to police.

In one, posted on the video-sharing site YouTube, a seemingly cavalier Magnotta is seen smoking and says, “what’s up and hi to all my fans,” while Madonna’s song “La Isla Bonita” plays in the background.

Police called the initial video showing the murder “sordid” and said the crime scene was virtually covered in blood.

Lin had been studying computer science in Montreal before his gory death.

His grieving parents, accompanied by his sister and uncle, arrived in Montreal late Tuesday from China to meet with Chinese diplomats, police and university administrators, the Chinese consulate told AFP.

Vancouver police said the packaging and addresses on the boxes sent to two schools there, in the far west of the country, were similar to those on the parcels discovered at the political offices in eastern Canada.

Montreal police spokesman Ian Lafreniere told reporters that a note was included with one package sent to a Vancouver school, as well as one of the packages delivered to Ottawa, but did not discuss the contents of the notes.

After a warrant was issued for Magnotta’s arrest, local media reported that a note sent with a severed foot to Conservative Party headquarters indicated that more body parts had been sent in the mail, and that the person who dismembered the victim would kill again.

Magnotta, who has been dubbed the “Canadian Psycho” and the “Butcher of Montreal, fled Canada on May 26, initially to Paris, before boarding a bus to Berlin on Friday.

Canadian authorities said he will face charges of first-degree murder and committing indignities to a body. He is also expected to be charged with publishing and mailing obscene matter to Canadian politicians.

Magnotta, who has worked as a bisexual porn star and as a gay prostitute called “Angel,” has changed his name and used several aliases. He had several fraud convictions on his record.

A series of judge-imposed conditions reportedly banned him from owning or using a camera or a computer, and from accessing the Internet.

Germany’s daily Bild, reporting on Magnotta’s past, said he was a high school graduate who had grown up with his grandparents.

———————————-

I ask  : Magnotta will not fight for his extradition, it seems normal because Canada no longer practices the death penalty. In such cases, is – what Canada should reconsider to reinstall the death penalty ? What do u think ?