Slaughter in the Mosque: Alexandre Bissonnette chooses to plead guilty

News 28 March, 2018
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    Alexandre Bissonnette

    Kathleen Frenette

    Wednesday, 28 march, 2018 09:48

    Wednesday, 28 march 2018 11:14

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    Alexandre Bissonnette has just plead guilty to six counts of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder leveled against him in connection with the slaughter that occurred in the Mosque of Quebec in January 2017.

    • READ ALSO: Massacre at the Mosque: here is the letter that was read by Alexandre Bissonnette to the families of the victims
    • READ ALSO: Massacre at the Mosque: here is an excerpt of the exchange between Alexandre Bissonnette and judge Huot

    “I chose to plead guilty. In my heart, it’s been a long time that I think of it. I want to plead guilty to all the charges to avoid a trial… to avoid to the victims and families to relive the tragedy.”

    This decision, Bissonnette, 28, was thoughtful. At least, that’s what he said last Monday at the justice François Huot, who was to preside over the trial scheduled for eight weeks.

    An order of non-publication prevented, however, the media to reveal this information since the magistrate, to ensure that the plea is made knowingly, has demanded that Bissonnette will be seen by a psychiatrist before the pleas are not acceded to.

    Monday night, the killer of the Mosque has therefore been met by a doctor and, on Wednesday morning, he was brought back before the judge, always so convinced of wanting to plead guilty.

    For long minutes, the magistrate was, therefore, read each of the twelve charges against Bissonnette in declaring him guilty. He read the names of all those who lost their lives during this tragedy. The names of all those who have been wounded in the depths of themselves and of their belief.

    In the room, the families of the men killed or injured incurring their tears, holding each other’s hands, sad the collateral victims of this human tragedy. In the foreground, Aymen Derbali, one of the men with ball this evening and will remain handicapped for life as a result of this massacre.

    Return procedures

    Monday, amazed at the choice of the accused, but wanting to especially ensure that it was made freely and voluntarily, the magistrate had asked him if he was under some influences whatsoever to make this decision.

    “No, I am not under the influence of anything. I’m nervous to be in front of you, but I feel in full possession of my means”, said the accused so calm and composed, but also in front of his parents, who were present in the room.

    Questioned about the decision of his client, the defence lawyer, Charles-Olivier Gosselin, had indicated to the magistrate that this was not the first time he spoke with him of this possibility.

    “The agreement that we had, it was to wait a few days. During the end of the week, Mr. Bissonnette was given access to the latest evidence. He knew the positive and the negative elements of our theory of case,” he mentioned to the judge who was said to be ‘ very well able to understand.”

    Submissions on sentencing

    Guilty of the slaughter of the great Mosque of Quebec, Alexandre Bissonnette will undergo in the coming weeks, the stage of representations on the sentence in which the prosecution intends to present evidence comprehensive.

    The tears of the families of the men killed or injured during the slaughter of the great Mosque were not even dried, and already, the justice François Huot asked the lawyers to decide on the sentence to be imposed on the murderer.

    The attorney of the public ministry, dr Thomas Jacques, has already indicated that the evidence that he intended to proceed is expected to last two weeks and that it will focus on two distinct components.

    “It will be question of the circumstances of the commission of the crimes since the prosecution is that the court is the portrait, the most accurate of what happened on the 29th of January 2017,” said maître Jacques to the magistrate.

    The second part will focus on the consequences of these crimes on the many victims.

    In defense, the lawyer Charles-Olivier Gosselin has requested that its representations can be carried over into June as he wishes to present evidence expanded on the mental state of Bissonnette, his risk of dangerousness, and his risk of re-offending.

    If the judge understands that the defence wants to address his subjects, he strongly opposed the request for delay made by the defense.

    “The victims have the right to see the accused be quickly condemned,” then thundered the magistrate, the lawyer, who countered that his client was in danger all the same “the award is the largest ever imposed in Canada.”

    Let’s remind that since December 2, 2011, the sentences to life for murder may be imposed consecutively, which means that Bissonnette could face a sentence of 150 years in prison.