Accused in Sept. attacks one step closer to standing trial
The accused in attacks that left five people injured on Sept. 30 will be back in court in May, after a second mental health assessment determined he can be held responsible for his actions.
On Wednesday, a report from a second mental health assessment on Abdulahi Hasan Sharif determined he could be held responsible for his actions.
Sharif is facing 12 charges stemming from the attacks, one outside a football game, where an Edmonton Police Service officer was struck by a vehicle and then stabbed multiple times. Hours later, a cube van struck four pedestrians in the city’s downtown as the driver fled police.
“I was definitely surprised because I definitely did think that there would be significant mental health issues,” Sharif’s lawyer Karanpal Aujla said.
“The doctors have found that whatever health issues he may have been suffering from at the time of the incident, they weren’t so much that he would not have an idea of what his actions were,” Aujla said.
A charge of aggravated assault was added Wednesday to the 11 charges he had faced previously: five counts of attempted murder, four charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm while fleeing police, and single charges of dangerous driving and possession of a weapon.
Sharif appeared in court but did not enter a plea.
Lawyers on both sides waived a preliminary hearing. The case is being moved to Court of Queen’s Bench to set a trial date.
The accused has had two mental health assessments since his arrest. The first found Sharif is fit to stand trial, and the second found he was not suffering from any mental health issues at the time of the attack.
Sharif is scheduled to appear in court again May 4.
With files from CTV Edmonton's Bill Fortier and The Canadian Press