Calgary

Emanuel Kahsai faking mental illness to 'derail' his murder trial: Crown

The man accused of killing his mother and her disabled client has been accused of trying to derail his court case by faking symptoms of mental illness, accusations that Emanuel Kahsai denied in an interview with CBC News.

Lawyers back in court Tuesday afternoon to decide how to proceed

Two psychiatric reports have found Emanuel Kahsai is faking a mental illness (Meghan Grant/CBC)

The man charged with killing his mother and her disabled client has been accused of trying to derail his court case by faking symptoms of mental illness, assertions Emanuel Kahsai denied in an interview with CBC News.

Kahsai is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his mother, 54-year-old Selma Alem, and second-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Julie Tran, whose bodies were discovered in Alem's Coventry Hills home a year ago.

A preliminary inquiry was supposed to take place beginning Tuesday but Kahsai came into the courtroom flailing his arms and making accusations that his own lawyer was in on a conspiracy with NASA and guards to influence verdicts by "extrapolating information" from inmates' minds.

In a phone interview from the Calgary Remand Centre (CRC), where Kahsai is being held pending trial, he continued to rant about brainwashing and telepathy at CRC and the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre where his mental assessments took place.

"There is brainwashing going on over at forensic psychiatry," said Kahsai. "He knows about the technologies being used to induce heart attacks ... for turning verdicts to extrapolate information from inmates' minds."

Selma Alem and Julie Tran were found dead in Alem's home in October 2015. Alem's son is accused of murder. (Calgary Herald/Family photo)

After bizarre rants during earlier court appearances, Kahsai was sent for psychiatric assessments to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

Kahsai told a court psychologist that "NASA and other agencies are using alpha, beta and zeta waves to manipulate the brains of inmates to extract information from them to alter verdicts in the courts."

But two separate psychiatric assessments found Kahsai was not only mentally fit but likely faking his symptoms. 

"I was told that I'm clinically sane, not insane," said Kahsai. "The doctor did lie, fabricate the paperwork ... it stated something about me faking."

Kahsai trying to 'derail' court case: Crown

On Tuesday, court heard that Kahsai has contacted the Calgary Police Service 35 times, including once to report an assault that was later determined not to have occurred.

He has also contacted the Crown's office several times and has called CBC News dozens of times in an effort to advance his narrative.

Kahsai did acknowledge he understands that a defence of not criminally responsible (NCR) by reason of mental illness could keep him out of prison, and said he was told through telepathy that an NCR defence was the plan for him. 

Crown prosecutor Todd Buziak told Provincial Court Judge Peter Barley that he believes Kahsai is trying to "derail" his preliminary inquiry and indicated he will likely proceed by direct indictment, sending the matter straight to trial.

'I will prove my innocence'

The key players will return to court Tuesday afternoon to decide how to proceed.

"I will prove my innocence and take this place down if I have to do it single-handedly."

In the months leading up to her death, court documents showed that Alem was frightened of her son and had sought protection against him.

Kahsai refused to explain why his mother was scared of him to the point that she sought an emergency protection order against him.

For Alem's best friend, the latest drama from Kahsai is disappointing but not surprising.

"This is making me sick," said Susan Hills.

"I know he's faking; he thinks he's way too smart."