Ian Bush, an Ottawa man accused of attempted murder in last December's attack on a 101 year-old war veteran, appeared in court Saturday morning to face three counts of first-degree murder related to an unsolved 2007 triple homicide in Ottawa.

Bush, 59, was ordered by the court not to speak to a list of people, including family members and witnesses, during a brief video appearance from the courthouse cell block. 

His brother Norm Bush spoke to CBC News on the phone after the appearance. He was not in Ottawa for his brother's court appearance on Saturday.

"We've understood there was an investigation going on but didn't know where it was going to go or if anything would come of it. Obviously, we're extremely dismayed about the whole thing and just looking to support his wife and children," he said. "Everybody is still in a pretty big state of shock and just taking it day by day."

On Friday, police charged Bush with three counts of first-degree murder in the June 2007 slayings of retired tax court judge Alban Garon, his wife Raymonde and their neighbour, Marie-Claire Beniskos, all in their 70s.

Evidence heard in court is protected by a pre-trial publication ban, but CBC News previously reported that the victims were found beaten and tied up, with plastic bags over their heads, inside the Garons' 10th-floor apartment near the Rideau River.

The suspect is facing charges in another case from two months ago. Bush is accused in the home invasion robbery and attack on Ernest Côté, a Second World War veteran of the D-Day landings.

Côté was also left with a plastic bag over his head, although he managed to free himself and call police.

Fit to stand trial

On Friday, Bush was found fit to stand trial in the case after a psychiatric assessment.

Côté's daughter, Lucie, told CBC News that she is pleased with the court's decision.

"We're all happy this awful crime of the triple murder has been solved, very pleased at all this," she said. "And very pleased with the outcome of the psychiatric report. So we'll see how things proceed but we know it does take time for the courts to work their way through this."

Police have not said much about what led them to Bush, but have said that the evidence includes DNA.   

"The investigation into the December home invasion prompted investigators to consider Bush as a suspect for the 2007
homicides," Ottawa Police Chief Jill Skinner said.

Bush has been in custody since police charged him with attempted murder in connection with the home invasion at Côté's second-floor apartment.

He is scheduled to return to court in relation to the triple homicide case on April 7.