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Hate speech trial adjourned until Jan. 17

David Popescu asks for more time to collect biblical passages for his defence
Popescu, J. David IND
Perennial fringe political candidate David Popescu will return to court Jan. 17 to continue his trial on wilfully promoting hatred. (File)

Final submissions in the trial for perennial fringe candidate David Popescu will happen in the New Year.

The trial will resume Jan. 17 at the Ontario Court of Justice at 159 Cedar St. at 10 a.m.

Popescu asked for an adjournment on Dec. 12, saying he needs more time for biblical research for his defence. He is charged with wilfully promoting hatred against an identifiable group, the LGBTQ community, during the 2018 provincial election. 

Greater Sudbury Police say he also stated former Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne should be put to death because she's a lesbian. 

He is representing himself in the trial, which started Nov. 4. The second day of trial happened Nov. 7.

Popescu told the court he's already put in a lot of work prepping his defence, which is “intertwined” with reasons from a biblical perspective.

“I have spent a lot of time working on it, but I realized it's a more complicated response,” Popescu said.

Assistant Crown attorney Leonard Kim said he's disappointed with the request, but reluctantly agreed to it. He said he doesn't know what Bible passages Popescu plans to use in the continuation of his defence, and without actually knowing that, it was best to adjourn.

Popescu was convicted of promoting hatred in 2009 after telling a group of high school students homosexuals should be executed. He was speaking during a debate for the federal election. He was sentenced to 18 months probation.

In December 2015, similar charges levied against Popescu were dismissed by the Crown. Greater Sudbury Police had charged Popescu with advocating or promoting genocide and for wilful promotion of hatred. 

During the 2018 municipal election, Mayor Brian Bigger had called for Popescu to be banned from all campaign events, including the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce debate.

“Anyone who calls for the extermination of homosexuals and runs in elections time and time again to promote hatred in the name of religion needs to be shown the door and not given a microphone,” said Bigger. 

However, the chamber decided to allow Popescu to attend the debate, saying the decision came down to fairness, as Popescu is legally entitled to run and has filed his papers and followed due process to be included in the debate. 

Arron Pickard

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