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Page last updated at 09:31 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 10:31 UK

Bus murder suspect fit for trial

Vince Weiguang Li in a file photo from a court appearance on 5 August
Mr Li now understands the charges against him, his lawyers say

A man accused of beheading a fellow bus passenger in Canada in July now fully understands his situation and is fit to stand trial, his lawyers have said.

A judge had ordered Vince Weiguang Li to have psychiatric tests to determine if he was competent to face a trial.

Mr Li, 40, is accused of second-degree murder after he allegedly stabbed and decapitated 22-year-old Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus on 31 July.

A date for Mr Li's trial is expected to be set on 6 November.

He has not entered a plea in the case.

"I agree that he is fit to stand trial, but the issue is whether he is criminally responsible for his actions," defence lawyer Alan Libman told reporters outside the court in Portage la Prairie, in the western province of Manitoba.

"If someone commits an offence while suffering a disease of the mind and they don't know their actions are wrong, they can't be held criminally responsible," Mr Libman said.

Prosecutors and the defence team agreed not to release details of Mr Li's psychiatric assessment because it could prejudice his trial.

Mr Libman said his client, who did not attend Monday's court hearing, is co-operating with his lawyers and psychiatrists

The attack on 31 July happened in front of terrified passengers as the bus travelled through a desolate stretch of Canada's vast prairies.

Witnesses said they saw Mr Li, a former church custodian, stab Mr McLean, who was sitting next to him, 50 or 60 times before cutting off his head.

They said that the attack began without warning.

Mr McLean's family is suing the Greyhound bus company, the federal government, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Mr Li.




SEE ALSO
Bus beheading suspect in court
01 Aug 08 |  Americas
Beheaded Canada bus man 'named'
01 Aug 08 |  Americas
Passenger beheaded on Canada bus
31 Jul 08 |  Americas

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