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Friday, 24 April 2009

Canada: Aziga sentencing delayed pending psychiatric assessment

Sentencing of Johnson Aziga, who was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and ten counts of aggravated sexual assault earlier this month, has been delayed indefinitely pending an application by the Crown to have Mr Aziga designated as a dangerous offender.

Mr Aziga had been scheduled to be sentenced on May 7th; murder convictions carry an automatic life sentence.

A report in today's Hamilton Spectator quotes one of Mr Aziga's defence lawyers, Munyonzwe Hamalengwa, who requested an MRI scan be included as part of a 60-day psychiatric assessment to be carried out by Dr. Philip Klassen at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

"We welcome a dangerous-offender application," Hamalengwa said outside the courtroom. "It's the only way a full psychiatric, psychological and neuro-cognitive assessment can come to the fore, which was not fully presented at the trial. We have confidence it will reveal brain damage suffered by Mr. Aziga."


MancSense said...

I'm struggling to understand how it helps Johnson Aziga when his defence supports the prosecution's application for Dangerous Offender status. If this succeeds, he will get an indeterminant sentence, rather than mandatory life for the murders he's been found guilty of.

To get out with this label put around his neck with the defence's help, he'd surely have to prove he was no longer any risk to women. It's not easy to see any type of parole board willing to stick their necks out and release someone in such a major case, when the defence is arguing he's brain damaged.

Tactically it looks like his legal team has lost sight of the bigger picture - they lost the case and as part of that they failed to prove he was so traumatised by his past in Uganda and Kenya to know he was doing wrong. Proving that he's brain damaged now is just too late.

The defence need to focus on his appeal. They particularly need to pay far more attention to disputing and challenging the uncorroborated and misinterpreted virological 'evidence.'


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