Protests outside Vancouver court ahead of Marrisa Shen murder suspect appearance
A man accused of murdering 13-year-old Marrisa Shen appeared briefly in court on Friday.
Ibrahim Ali is charged with first-degree murder in connection with Shen’s death.
Ali wore a light red jail uniform and spoke quietly with an Arabic interpreter but did not address the court, only glancing momentarily at the crowd gathered in the room.
The case was adjourned until Oct. 12 so that Ali’s lawyer, Daniel Markovitz, could review the Crown’s evidence. He declined comment outside court.
WATCH: Supporters of Shen family and Syrian community clash outside B.C. courthouse
Shen was found dead in Burnaby’s Central Park in July of last year, just hours after she was reported missing.
Homicide investigators publicly identified Ali as the suspect on Monday, saying that he only came to their attention two weeks ago.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Unit (IHIT) said the investigation was extensive.
Investigators canvassed some 1,300 residents and conducted 600 interviews. They also collected hundreds of hours of surveillance footage from more than 60 locations.
Globalnews.ca coverage of the death of Marrisa Shen
Police say Ali is a Syrian national who moved to Burnaby as a refugee 17 months ago and is an employed, permanent resident of Canada with no prior criminal history.
Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside of Vancouver Provincial Court. Some told Global News that Ali, who came to Canada as a Syrian refugee, wasn’t properly vetted.
Others could be heard chanting, “Where’s Trudeau?”
Members of Metro Vancouver’s Syrian community, meanwhile, held a vigil outside of the court, holding up signs that read “Justice for Marrisa Shen.”
“We hope that justice will be served no matter who committed the crime, no matter what happened,” organizer Mohammed Alsaleh said ahead of the vigil. “Justice must be served.”
“The Syrian community has made it very clear — we are with the family, we are against the crime.”
— With files from Sarah MacDonald, Amy Judd and The Canadian Press
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