Crown asks for access to Alek Minassian’s full interview with doctors in van attack trial

TORONTO – Crown lawyers at the trial of the man who carried out Toronto’s 2018 van attack are seeking access to interviews he had with psychiatrists hired by the defence.

Alek Minassian has admitted in court to killing 10 people and hurting 16 others when he drove a van down a crowded Toronto sidewalk on April 23, 2018.

He has pleaded not guilty and has asked to be found criminally responsible for his actions.

Read more: Alek Minassian pleads not criminally responsible for Toronto van attack that left 10 dead, 16 injured

Crown lawyer Joe Callaghan says prosecutors have not received video and audio of interviews psychiatrists hired by the defence conducted with Minassian and his family.

Boris Bytensky, Minassian’s lawyer, says the Crown has doctors’

reports that summarize their findings and opinions on Minassian’s state of mind, but the full video and audio of the interviews, as well as medical notes, are covered under litigation priviledge.

READ MORE: Experts explain Toronto van attack suspect’s likely defence of not criminally responsible

Minassian’s state of mind at the time of the attack is the sole issue to be decided at the judge-alone trial, which is being conducted via videoconference due to the pandemic.

The defence has not yet stated what mental disorder Minassian will argue he suffered from at the time.

The 28-year-old Minassian faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

He told a detective the attack was retribution against society because he was a lonely virgin who believed women wouldn’t have sex with him.

READ MORE: These are the victims of the Toronto van attack

Callaghan has filed a motion to get access to about 30 hours of interviews Minassian and his family gave to defence doctors, along with more than 100 pages of notes related to those interviews.

“The Crown is entitled to receive a complete a record of these interviews that exist,” Callaghan said.

If Justice Anne Molloy sides with the Crown, there will likely be a delay in the trial so the prosecution and their expert witnesses can review the material, court heard.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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