The man facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of Red Deer doctor Walter Reynolds once again insisted he did not want a lawyer in the upcoming trial.
Deng Mabiour, 54, appeared in a Red Deer court room Wednesday afternoon after Justice Paul Belzil had previously expressed concern about whether he was mentally fit to stand trial.
Walter Reynolds, 45, was attacked while working at the Village Mall Walk-In clinic on Aug. 10, 2020.
Mabiour indicated at his previous court appearances that he did not want to be represented by a defence lawyer, and as a result, he’s been appointed an amicus curiae — or “friend of the court” — to ensure he understands the court process.
Red Deer defence lawyer Jason Snider has agreed to act as amicus for the court.
When asked by Justice Belzil whether Mabiour had any questions in court, Mabiour said, “My question is simple: My question is, do you believe that my case is connected with a human rights case?”
Belzil replied by explaining that Mabiour was at a criminal court proceeding and Snider would be acting as amicus to ensure Mabiour received a fair trial.
Snider said despite Mabiour being certified under the mental health act, he was still found fit to stand trial in the fall after a query last month.
“At the same time, he fits the criteria under the mental health act as a person suffering from a mental illness that is a danger to themselves or others to be committed under the mental health act,” Snider said.
Crown prosecutor Bina Border indicated she intends to file an application that witnesses who are civilians would not be cross-examined by Mabiour when testifying at the trial, which is planned for November 2021.
On Wednesday, Snider said the matter will go before the court May 20th.
“That’s a section under the criminal code that allows the court, if it deems appropriate, to appoint a lawyer for the purpose of cross-examining, rather than allowing an accused person that doesn’t have a lawyer to cross-examine themselves,” Snider explained.
Belzil also recommended again that Mabiour seek counsel instead of representing himself.
When Belzil asked him if he still didn’t want to be represented by a lawyer, Mabiour said, “Yeah, I don’t want a lawyer.”
Mabiour is scheduled to be back in court on May 20. When Belzil indicated to the accused he could ask questions at that appearance, Mabiour once again said, “There is no other question… I asked you whether my case is related to the human rights abuse.”
Belzil responded they would speak about the matter when they met again in Red Deer on May 20.