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Pair accused in death of Calgary police officer appear in court Monday

Click to play video 'Touching tribute for fallen Calgary police officer' Touching tribute for fallen Calgary police officer
WATCH: Dozens of first responders drove by Calgary Police Headquarters on Monday in honour of Sgt. Andrew Harnett. The tribute happened just hours after the pair accused of first-degree murder in his death appeared in court. Jenna Freeman reports. – Jan 4, 2021

EDITOR’S NOTE: Global News previously reported the court appearance would be a bail hearing. Lawyers for both accused confirmed they will be seeking bail but clarified it wouldn’t be happening during Monday’s appearance. Global News regrets the error.

Two people charged with first-degree murder in the death of a Calgary police officer appeared in court Monday.

Amir Abdulrahman, 19, and a 17-year-old who cannot be identified are charged with first-degree murder in the death of 37-year-old Sgt. Andrew Harnett on New Year’s Eve. The Crown noted the most serious charge is automatic in deaths involving a police officer.

Read more: Family of slain Calgary police officer says he ‘loved life,’ embraced Alberta as home

Harnett was conducting a traffic stop when he was hit and dragged by a vehicle in northeast Calgary.

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Calgary police officers spent New Year’s Day searching for the two suspects wanted on first-degree murder charges.

The two accused turned themselves in late Friday afternoon and appeared before a Justice of the Peace on Saturday morning.

Read more: ‘An outstanding person’: Calgary police officer killed during New Year’s Eve traffic stop

The 17-year-old, who turns 18 on Monday, appeared in youth court on Monday. The teen will appear next on Jan. 19 for a bail hearing.

After his arrest, he was put in 14-day isolation to help prevent the possible spread of COVID-19. He won’t be able to attend court in person until that ends.

“The young person has a right to be present during the proceedings and I do have concerns respecting a telephone appearance,” said Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor.

“The attorney general is obliged to put on the record that we are opposed to the young person’s release. The arguments will be made with respect to safety and protection of the public and maintain confidence in the administration of justice.”

Taylor said he would be calling a witness and show a video during the bail hearing.

Defence lawyer Kaysi Fagan said she will be seeking bail for the youth at the earliest opportunity.

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Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor plans to oppose the release of the youth out of concern for public safety.

Defence counsel for Abdulrahman, Andrea Urquhart, said she will also be seeking to schedule a bail hearing in Court of Queen’s Bench as soon as possible.

Abulrahman is scheduled to appear in court next on Feb. 4 after his lawyer asked for time to review the evidence.

Neither accused appeared in person but was reached by phone.

– With files from The Canadian Press