GTA

Toronto van attack suspect appears in court

Three new charges of attempted murder have been laid against the man accused in a deadly van attack in Toronto last month.

Police have said eight women and two men died after Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, Ont., allegedly drove a rental van down a busy sidewalk on April 23.

Authorities initially said 13 people were injured that day, but further investigation revealed three others were also hurt.

Minassian was already charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

He appeared in a north Toronto court by video on Thursday and said nothing as the three new charges were laid. The case was adjourned to Sept. 14.

Outside court, Minassian’s lawyer said he didn’t want to talk about how his client was doing.

“This isn’t a time to discuss Mr. Minassian, this is still a grieving period for the city,” Boris Bytensky told reporters. “There are many families that are grieving for those lives lost and those injured. Our thoughts, the Minassian family’s thoughts, are with them.”

Bytensky added that he had no intention of litigating the case through the press or the public.

“I’m well aware of the emotion in the city about this. I’ve very respectful of that,” he said. “I’m not going to float things for purposes of suspicious. I simply am going to reassure people that we will handle this case as professionally as possible, as I know the Crown will as well.”

Those who died in last month’s attack ranged in age from 22 to 94, and included a student from South Korea and a man from Jordan.

Insp. Bryan Bott, the head of Toronto’s homicide squad, said shortly after the attack that police hadn’t identified a motive, but that the evidence they had didn’t meet the threshold for terrorism charges.

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