A trial for the man accused in the Toronto van attack is set to begin Nov. 9 and justice officials are still working out the logistics for the proceedings, which will take place via video conferencing due to COVID-19.
On Thursday, the court heard that there is going to be a lot of interest in the high-profile case as victims, family members and members of the media all want to watch the trial.
“It’s gotta go,” said Cathy Riddell, one of the first people hit by the van during the April 2018 attack along Yonge Street in North York.
Riddell spent two months in the hospital recovering after the incident.
Two-and-a-half years later Riddell is still recovering from her injuries and is anxious for the trial to get underway.
“It’s just hanging over us. If they cancel again I’m going to be very stressed and I’ve got enough stress just with COVID-19. You put the trial on top of it, it’s asking a lot of people,” she said.
Alek Minassian also appeared in court via Zoom Thursday and did not speak.
He is accused of deliberately using a van to kill 10 people on April 23, 2018, and faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.
Justice Anne Molloy, who is overseeing the trial, suggested a specific room where a screen has been set up for video-conferencing viewing. Crown and defence lawyers are planning to look at the room and see if will be suitable.
Van attack victim wants trial shown at North York Civic Centre
Riddell lives near where the attack took place and says that the trial should be shown at the North York Civic Centre.
“It’s empty and there’s huge rooms, council chamber, all kinds of chamber rooms … it’s pretty convenient for a lot of us instead of having to haul everybody all the way downtown, or set up Zoom for old seniors like me who don’t have a lot of Internet and don’t know how to use Zoom,” said Riddell. “I think it’s a good solution.”
Riddell said it’s important for her to sit through the entire trial.
“If I don’t hear it, how can I live with the decision?”