Canada: Aziga sentencing delayed pending psychiatric assessment

Edwin J Bernard - April 24, 2009

Sentencing of Johnson Aziga, who was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and ten counts of aggravated sexual assault earlier this month, has been delayed indefinitely pending an application by the Crown to have Mr Aziga designated as a dangerous offender.

Mr Aziga had been scheduled to be sentenced on May 7th; murder convictions carry an automatic life sentence.

A report in today’s Hamilton Spectator quotes one of Mr Aziga’s defence lawyers, Munyonzwe Hamalengwa, who requested an MRI scan be included as part of a 60-day psychiatric assessment to be carried out by Dr. Philip Klassen at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

“We welcome a dangerous-offender application,” Hamalengwa said outside the courtroom. “It’s the only way a full psychiatric, psychological and neuro-cognitive assessment can come to the fore, which was not fully presented at the trial. We have confidence it will reveal brain damage suffered by Mr. Aziga.”