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Canada  

Last chance to find lawyer

A man accused of trying to kill a police officer and of running down pedestrians in Edmonton has been given one last chance to find a lawyer before one is appointed in his case.

Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, who faces 12 charges, had been ordered to appear with an experienced lawyer provided through legal aid.

That lawyer, Greg Lazin, told court that he attempted to meet with Sharif at the Edmonton Remand Centre twice in the past week but Sharif refused.

A judge asked Sharif why and, through an interpreter, Sharif said he wanted to pick his own lawyer.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Paul Belzil said he wouldn't tolerate any further delays and gave Sharif until May 2 to find a lawyer.

Sharif was charged in October 2017 after an officer outside an Edmonton Eskimos football game was struck by a speeding car then stabbed and, hours later, four pedestrians were struck by a cube van.

Belzil reminded Sharif that a four-month jury trial is scheduled to begin this fall.

"You have to co-operate," he said.

Sharif has already parted ways with at least two lawyers since he was charged.

Elizabeth Wheaton, an assistant chief Crown prosecutor, said her office was prepared to bring forward an application for a lawyer to be appointed.

The judge said that if Sharif does not have a lawyer at his next court appearance, he would hear the Crown's application.

"I'm going to give you one more chance," Belzil said.



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