Defence seeks mental health assessments for man accused in attacks
The lawyer representing the man accused in a series of attacks at the end of September is seeking mental health assessments for the accused.
On September 30, after a football game at Commonwealth Stadium, EPS Constable Michael Chernyk was struck by a car, and then stabbed multiple times.
It’s believed the same suspect then used a rented truck to flee police, and hit four pedestrians in the downtown area.
At the time, police said the incidents were being investigated as ‘acts of terrorism’. That night, Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, was arrested.
On Tuesday, Sharif appeared briefly via CCTV from the Remand Centre, and the judge accepted two applications from the defence for mental health assessments.
One application is expected to determine whether Sharif is fit to stand trial, the other to determine if he is fit to be found criminally responsible.
“The fitness to stand trial determines if the individual is fit as of today, to stand trial,” Defence lawyer Karanpal Aujla said outside of court Tuesday. “As in, he understands the process, he understands the court proceedings.
“Whereas [the not criminally responsible] assessment determines his mental abilities at the time of the incident.”
Sharif faces five counts of attempted murder, four counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm while fleeing police, and one charge each of dangerous driving and possession of a weapon.
His next court appearance is on December 13.
With files from Bill Fortier