Police say person took loaded gun into Ibrahim Ali murder trial: lawyer

Loaded gun in courtroom

A lawyer for Ibrahim Ali in his first-degree murder trial says police told him a person close to the proceeding brought a handgun into the Vancouver courtroom on Friday with "intent to kill."

Kevin McCullough says police told him the Glock firearm was loaded.

He says he and his wife were called to the Victoria Police Department on Sunday, where officers informed them of the incident.

The trial concluded Friday after a B.C. Supreme Court jury convicted Ali of killing the 13-year-old girl in a Burnaby, B.C., park in 2017. The girl's name cannot be reported because of a publication ban.

Neither Victoria Police nor Vancouver Police immediately responded to questions about the alleged incident in the B.C. Supreme Court, while a spokesman for the BC Prosecution Service declined to comment.

McCullough had asked on Friday that the proceedings be moved to a secure courtroom in light of what he said was a "litany of death threats" against defence lawyers and their families.

But Justice Lance Bernard said he didn't know if another court was available and the move didn't take place.

"I am fearful for my safety, the safety of my co-counsel, Mr. (Ben) Lynskey, and the safety of Mr. Ali at all court appearances," McCullough said in an interview with The Canadian Press Monday.

"It's a sad day when defence counsel or people who are being zealously represented, and somehow that turns into a society where they want defence counsel to be hurt, killed, intimidated and threatened."

In hearings without the jury present last week McCullough read out a note he said he received, threatening him and his family with violent deaths.

"It will happen before Christmas. The last thing you will know is that your family suffers like the child suffered. I am suicidal due to childhood predators looking for someone to cause pain to. I'll burn myself alive."

The main Crown evidence against Ali was semen found inside the girl's body that was a DNA match for the accused.

McCullough told the jury in his closing arguments that the girl was not an "innocent" child as the Crown had portrayed, that she was a teenager and that it wasn't "outlandish" to suggest she may have found Ali attractive.

The B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver does not have metal detection and other security checks for all courtrooms.

Courtroom 20 in the Vancouver court complex is surrounded by bulletproof glass that separates the public gallery from lawyers, the judge, defendants and the jury.

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