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'There is only so much I can do,' says judge of Ibrahim Ali murder trial delays

The jury in the Ibrahim Ali murder trial was sent home again Wednesday afternoon because Ali was not 'well enough to proceed,' according to B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lance Bernard.
BC Supreme Court Vancouver
The jury for the Ibrahim Ali murder trial was sent home again Wednesday afternoon.

After yet another adjournment in the Ibrahim Ali murder trial Wednesday, B.C. Supreme Court Judge Lance Bernard told the jury he is doing what he can to avoid delays.

Ali is on trial for first-degree murder in the death of a 13-year-old girl whose body was found in Burnaby's Central Park on July 19, 2017, less than two hours after her family reported her missing at about 11 p.m. on July 18, 2017.

Ali has pleaded not guilty.

The girl cannot be identified because of a publication ban.

Sexual assault expert Dr. Tracy Pickett was on the stand Tuesday morning, answering questions about injuries found on the young teen’s body, when the trial was adjourned until 2 p.m. the next day because Ali wasn’t feeling well.

At about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, the jury was called into court and told to return Thursday morning.

Bernard told them he had spent most of the afternoon “dealing with the matter at hand, which is that Mr. Ali isn’t feeling well enough to proceed.”

“I think we’ve resolved that question,” Bernard said. “I expect it’s going to be resolved to the point that this will no longer be an issue that should arise.”

He apologized for the delay but said “matters arise that are unpredictable.”

“I want you to be confident that I’m doing what I can to try and avoid these delays, but there is only so much I can do,” Bernard said.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin on April 5 and wrap up at the end of June but may now continue into December.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor
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