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Alleged Edmonton city hall shooter denied bail

A security guard facing multiple terrorism-related charges, in connection to a January shooting inside Edmonton’s city hall, was denied bail Thursday.

Bezhani Sarvar, 28, appeared in Edmonton’s Court of Justice by video conference from the Calgary Remand Centre. His wife, father and sisters attended Thursday’s hearing.

The evidence and arguments made during the hearing, and the reasons for Justice Janet Dixon’s decision, are all subject to a court-ordered publication ban. 

Sarvar seemed attentive throughout the hours-long hearing, declining politely and clearly when Dixon asked whether he needed a chair or was OK to remain standing.

“Thank you, your honour. I appreciate it,” he said. 

Sarvar was arrested Jan. 23 and has remained in custody ever since.

He is charged with counselling commission of a terrorism offence and possession of property for terrorist purposes, as well as nine other charges that, RCMP have alleged, constitute terrorism offences:

  • Intentionally or recklessly causing damage by fire or explosion to property, knowing the property was inhabited.
  • Intentionally possessing incendiary material while committing an indictable offence.
  • Use of a firearm while committing an indictable offence.
  • Intentional discharge of a firearm while being reckless as to the life and safety of another person.
  • Possession of a prohibited device (two counts).
  • Mischief.
  • Carrying a concealed weapon.
  • Possession of weapon for the purpose of committing an offence.

Following his arrest, police alleged Sarvar lit several Molotov cocktails, causing a small fire, and fired shots with an SKS semi-automatic rifle — hitting walls, the ceiling and windows.

No one was hurt during the incident. 

Sarvar initially faced criminal charges laid by the Edmonton Police Service, but those were later replaced by the terrorism-related offences following further investigation by the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.

The RCMP have alleged the event was “politically motivated.”

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