Luka Magnotta trial: Jun Lin hid homosexuality from his family, ex-boyfriend testifies

Jun Lin’s family had been pressuring him to marry a woman, and he broke up with his boyfriend only weeks before being killed, a Montreal court heard today at the Luka Magnotta murder trial.

Lin Feng had lived with Jun Lin in Montreal, but was abroad at time of his death

Lin Feng, the former boyfriend of victim Jun Lin, leaves the courtroom after testifying at the murder trial for Luka Magnotta. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Jun Lin’s family had been pressuring him to marry a woman, and he broke up with his boyfriend only weeks before being killed, a Montreal court heard today at the Luka Magnotta murder trial.

Lin Feng, Jun Lin's former boyfriend, was stoic and matter of fact as he told the court Wednesday that he had been very much in love.

"His family was not aware that he was gay — that’s why he was trying to date a girl,” Lin Feng said under cross-examination by Magnotta's defence lawyer. 

He said they dated for a year and a half and lived together in Montreal.  

They were still close and sent texts to each other 40 to 50 times a day after Lin Feng moved back to China for the summer in May 2012. He became concerned when Jun Lin stopped answering his texts on May 24, 2012, while he was on vacation in Thailand.

Lin Feng, 35, is the fourth witness to testify at the trial. He answered the prosecution’s questions in Mandarin with the help of an interpreter.

Crown attorney Louis Bouthillier questioned Lin Feng about his relationship with the victim.

He told the court that his former lover was a faithful man who didn’t drink, smoke or do drugs. He rebuffed assertions by Magnotta's lawyer that Jun Lin was promiscuous and had a penchant for bondage. He said their sexual relationship had been "normal."

The defence asked Lin Feng about his knowledge of other men in Jun Lin's life, specifically a man named Emile with whom Jun Lin chatted via Skype on May 19, 2012.

Lawyer Luc Leclair suggested the two men had sexual relations and asked Lin Feng if that surprised him.

"We had split up at that time already, so he had all his freedom," Lin Feng said.

The witness, who addressed the court through a Mandarin-speaking translator, became visibly agitated when Leclair started questioning the reasons for their breakup and presenting stills from pornographic films, which the lawyer said had come from videos Jun Lin had downloaded. 

"Do I have to look at these pictures?" he asked the court.

'Considering friendship'

Lin Feng said he met Jun Lin in Beijing in 2009, but they didn't start dating until they were both living in Shanghai in 2010.

He said he and Jun Lin had been “considering friendship," at the time of Jun Lin's death, in part because of the pressure Lin was under to find a wife. He confirmed that Jun Lin had been married previously and divorced. 

Lin Feng told the court he had met Jun Lin's parents, but they weren't aware of the nature of their relationship. 

He told the court he occasionally provided his former boyfriend with financial support. 

“I would offer him some little help,” he said.

The two were still close and were in contact in the hours leading up to Jun Lin's death. 

He told the court he was on vacation in Bangkok when a friend alerted him that Jun Lin had gone missing. Lin Feng booked a flight to Canada to help with the search and learned during a layover in Qatar that Jun Lin was dead.

Lin Feng is scheduled to return to China tomorrow.

Magnotta has been charged with five offences, including first degree murder, in connection with Jun Lin's death. He has pleaded not guilty, but has agreed to the facts of the case, including that he killed Lin.

Because of that admission, the Crown does not need to prove the facts of the case, but does need to convince the jury that Magnotta had the state of mind to commit the crimes.

His lawyer has told the jury he intends to argue that his client should be found not criminally responsible for the death because he suffers from a mental illness.

The prosecutor in the case said he intends to prove the killing was premeditated.

In total, more than 60 witnesses are expected to testify during the six-week-long trial.