Crown in Magnotta awaits permission to question witnesses in Europe
Prosecution wants to interview more than 30 witnesses in France and Germany
A Quebec Superior Court judge will decide tomorrow if the court will travel to Europe to question witnesses in the Luka Magnotta murder case.
The Crown wants to interview more than 30 witnesses in France and Germany.
Magnotta went to those two countries — and was arrested in Germany in June 2012 — after he left Canada following the alleged murder of Concordia University student Jun Lin.
Defence opposes request
Magnotta's attorney, Luc Leclair, opposed the crown's proposal.
Leclair said Thursday in a Montreal courtroom that the witnesses should be brought to Canada on the federal government's dime.
He pegged the cost of bringing Magnotta back to Canada at $450,000 and said if authorities did it once, they can do it again to bring witnesses here.
"If Mr. (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper was able to pay $450,000, they can pay to have 20 to 35 witnesses to come to Canada," Leclair said.
An attorney who deals with international cases with Quebec's public prosecutions office says there is no legal way to compel witnesses from a foreign country to testify in Canada.
The process is wrought with technological and jurisdictional hurdles.
Sebastien Bergeron-Guyard, the lawyer who deals with international cases involving Quebec, says courtrooms in those countries are not equipped with audio and video equipment to record the testimony.
He said it would be highly unlikely that Magnotta would be able to attend such questioning in person.
"When we move someone out of Canada, we're never sure we'll have them back because we don't have jurisdiction anymore," Bergeron-Guyard said.
"If we move them, we have to start the extradition process anew, so we're never sure if we'll get them back."
Bergeron-Guyard said arrangements could be made to have Magnotta, 31, attend through video link from the detention centre where he is incarcerated.
Magnotta's jury trial is set to begin Sept. 8 and will be presided by Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer.
With files from CBC News