Van attack suspect Alek Minassian to be tried by judge alone in Toronto

The man accused of a deadly van attack on a busy sidewalk in the north end of the city won’t face a jury and will be tried in Toronto, a court ruled on Wednesday.

Alek Minassian is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder in the April 2018 attack.

“As a result of the consent of all parties to proceed without a jury, there’s no need to move the case from Toronto, and the case can proceed here, and it will proceed in Toronto in February of 2020,” said Minassian’s lawyer, Boris Bytensky.

“The trial is going to proceed without a jury and with a judge. We have a very senior, experienced judge, and I’m sure that Mr. Minassian will receive the fairest trial possible.”

Toronto police allege Minassian drove a van down a stretch of Yonge Street on April 23, 2018.

The trial is scheduled for February 2020.

“I can’t talk about the defence at all,” Bytensky said.” I can certainly confirm that there won’t be a need to move the case from Toronto now, and Mr. Minassian has great confidence that he will receive a fair trial now. It’s all anybody can ask for.”

With files from Caryn Lieberman and Gabby Rodrigues

More to come.

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