On the 9th of August last, Frej Haj Messaoud would be doused in gasoline and burned his wife in the middle of the street, in the district of Saint-Sauveur.
June 22, 2020 19: 40
Self-Immolation in the middle of the street: disagreement on the testimony of the complainant
The taxi driver Frej Haj Messaoud, accused of having wanted to kill his wife in the act of self-immolation by fire, is that his lawyer can cross-examine the complainant during the preliminary investigation. No question just a statement in audio, ” he said.
August 9, 2019, in the middle of the street Arago West in the district of Saint-Sauveur, the young mother of 27 years would have been splashed with petrol by the accused. The latter would then put the fire on her before fleeing. The young children of the couple and the victim’s mother were witnesses to the event. A neighbor rescued the young woman, badly burned on a large portion of his body.
After his arrest, Frej Haj Messaoud, a 40 year old man of tunisian origin, had been denied his release during the proceedings.
The record returned to the court Monday for a management conference. The lawyer Messaoud, François Cauchon, was first announced to the court that his client chose to have a trial before a judge and jury without going through the preliminary investigation, the stage at which the Crown spreads out its evidence in a summary way. The defense lawyer said not to see any advantage for his client to undergo this step.
But before the frown of the accused, present through videoconferencing, Me Cauchon returned to speak to his client, an inmate at the detention centre of Quebec.
Frej Haj Messaoud has finally requested the holding of a preliminary inquiry. He absolutely wants that his lawyer can cross-examine the complainant in order to clarify the context of the drama.
“You want to assess its credibility (the complainant?)” asked the judge Marie-Claude Gilbert of the Court of Québec.
“I want to check out his version of the facts, answers François Cauchon. The important point is to be able to cross-examine madam.”
The defence does not dispute the relevant facts of the event. “Madame has been burned on the back, it is admitted,” says François Cauchon. The debate will be done largely on the intention that would have had the accused to kill his wife.
The Crown prosecutor Me Sabrina Lambert-Michel does not wish to assign to the complainant as a witness before the trial. “Madame still receives care every day and is in a precarious state of health,” says mr. Lambert-Michel.
The Crown does not see the relevance of bringing the complainant at this stage when it will be filed with the court its statement audio done at the hospital, a few hours after the attack.
No improvement of the state of health of the victim would not be foreseeable in the near future, added the Crown prosecutor.
Judge Gilbert has made the decision on the testimony under advisement.
In addition to the testimony of the complainant, the Crown will introduce also a video statement of the child of the couple, a witness to the event.