TORONTO – A Toronto judge said he needed more time to consider whether a further mental health assessment was necessary for a man found guilty in a terror plot to derail a passenger train, calling the matter a “very complicated” one during a court session on Friday.
The issue of Chiheb Esseghaier’s mental health, which came up during his sentencing hearing, has brought into question whether the Tunisian national is fit to participate in the legal process.
Justice Michael Code has been mulling over whether to order a fresh mental health assessment after Crown lawyers said they want one.
That followed an assessment from a psychiatrist who testified she believed Esseghaier is unable to participate in his sentencing hearing because he is likely schizophrenic.
Code was to deliver his decision on ordering a further assessment on Friday afternoon but when court reconvened, he said the issue is “much more complicated” than he thought.
Code said he still hadn’t decided if a second assessment for Esseghaier was needed, and even if it was, he said there were serious jurisdictional issues around assessing the mental fitness of someone who has already been convicted.