Dismemberment suspect trusts Canada's courts, lawyer says

Luka Rocco Magnotta, accused of killing and dismembering 33-year-old Jun Lin, pleaded not guilty to all charges Tuesday.

Story highlights

  • Luka Rocco Magnotta appeared in court Thursday
  • The suspect "trusts the Canadian judicial system," his lawyer says
  • Magnotta is charged with killing and dismembering a Chinese student
  • He has pleaded not guilty to all charges

A porn actor suspected of killing and dismembering a university student in Montreal "trusts the Canadian judicial system," his attorney said after a hearing Thursday afternoon.

Luka Rocco Magnotta faces first-degree murder and other charges in the death and dismemberment of Jun Lin, a 33-year-old Concordia University student from China. The 29-year-old Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Magnotta appeared at his initial court appearance Tuesday via video link for security reasons but appeared in person for Thursday afternoon's hearing, said Jean Pascal Boucher, a spokesman for the Quebec prosecutor's office.

"The information we get is that he was asked to be there by his counsel," Boucher said.

Authorities accuse Magnotta of dismembering Lin and mailing his hand and foot to Canadian politicians. Police also believe Magnotta filmed the death and dismemberment and posted the video to the Internet. They have said the video shows Magnotta engaged in sexual acts involving body parts and includes evidence of cannibalism.

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Investigators say Magnotta fled to France and then Germany, where he was arrested while browsing articles about himself at an Internet cafe in Berlin. Magnotta did not fight extradition and was flown back to Canada on Monday.

"Mr. Magnotta waived his rights to extradition because he wanted to come back to Montreal," said his attorney, Luc Leclair. "He trusts the Canadian judicial system."

    Lin's family, who traveled from their Chinese village to Canada to reclaim their son's remains, has met with prosecutors but did not attend he hearing, Boucher said.

    "We want to make sure that they will get the information about the process, to make sure that they know what happened and that we care about them," he said. "So we will continue to get in touch with them so that they get the information."

    Leclair did not request a mental examination of his client, as had been expected. Prosecutors asked Judge Jean-Pierre Boyer to bar the publication of details of medication Magnotta was taking, however.

    Authorities believe that Magnotta killed Lin on May 24 or 25, posted the video and then flew to France on May 26. He was thought to have boarded a bus to Berlin on June 1 while police were searching for him in Paris, Berlin prosecutors have said.

    The sick fascination with a death video

    The case began when a caller complained to police about a strong smell coming from an alley behind Magnotta's Montreal apartment building, police said. Investigators found a torso stuffed inside a suitcase.

    The same day, officials at Canada's Conservative Party headquarters received a package addressed to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper that contained a foot. Officials later intercepted a package addressed to the Liberal Party that contained a hand.

    DNA tests showed both were Lin's, police said. The victim's head is still missing.

    A gay porn actor, stripper and escort, Magnotta was well-known to animal rights activists online, who accused him of killing kittens and using the carcasses in sexual acts. Authorities have said they were looking into the animal-abuse allegations and examining possible links to other crimes.