The lawyer for one of two Surrey, B.C., residents accused of planning to bomb the province's legislature on Canada Day says the case has elements of entrapment.
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John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Korody were charged earlier this month with knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity, making or possessing an explosive device and conspiracy to place an explosive device with the intent to cause death or injury. Court documents show Korody and Nuttall are each facing an additional charge of conspiracy to murder persons unknown.
Nuttall and Korody briefly appeared in court in B.C. provincial court in Surrey Tuesday morning as provincial court charges against the pair were stayed so the case can move to B.C. Supreme Court for a direct indictment.
Speaking outside the courtroom, Nuttall's lawyer Tom Morino alluded to U.S. police forces being involved in the investigation, but said it could be tough to prove whether police set a trap for the pair.
"Entrapment is a very high hurdle to clear," he said. "I think it's safe to assume there were certain elements of that. Whether or not that officially constitutes the legal definition of entrapment, that remains to be seen."
Morino says he'll ask for a four-week to six-week adjournment after the pair is indicted in B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Nuttall and Korody smiled at each other in court, and Nuttall appeared to be clutching a Qur'an.
Friends question allegations
Nuttall, 38, and Korody, who is 28 or 29, are alleged to have turned ordinary pressure cookers into improvised explosive devices filled with rusted nails, nuts, bolts and washers.
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Police have claimed the two were inspired by “al-Qaeda ideology,” but say there’s no evidence the two were acting “at the direction of a terror group.”
The couple’s friends have said they find it hard to believe the pair could have organized such a plot.
Korody has been described as a bright and creative but impressionable young woman who could have been led astray.
Nuttall, meanwhile, is described as a talented musician with the mentality of a 16-year-old.
The couple’s landlord described them as having limited means and questioned how they could have financed such a plot.
CBC News reporter Steve Lus, who was allowed inside the couple’s basement suite, said the couple lived in squalor, and described a living space strewn with discarded methadone bottles, video games and DVDs.
‘Too much’ into religion
However, one friend said the couple’s behaviour changed once they found Islam and became increasingly religious.
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Ashley Volpatti told CBC News the couple started exhibiting odd behaviour about six months ago — becoming distant, declining to socialize and selling off Nuttall’s guitars — before they were kicked out of a Surrey mosque.
Volpatti said she wasn’t sure why they were kicked out, but described the pair as being “way too much into their religion.”
A neighbour told CBC News she overheard Nuttall having a loud telephone conversation in which he mentioned jihad.
The couple had also been active in the local paintball community, but stopped attending last August.