Surrey’s John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were found guilty this week of planning a Canada Day attack in 2013 that involved planting homemade bombs outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria.
A B.C. Supreme Court jury in Vancouver found the couple guilty of one count each of conspiring to commit murder and possessing explosives for the benefit or on behalf of a terrorist organization.
The 12-member jury began deliberating Sunday (May 31) morning and delivered its verdict Tuesday evening (June 2).
According to the CBC, Nuttall made a heart shape with his fingers toward Korody as the verdict was read in court.
The case, however, is not over. Justice Catherine Bruce will not enter the convictions until the pair’s defence lawyers have an opportunity to argue RCMP officers entrapped Nuttall and Korody during a months-long police sting. The jury’s verdicts can be stayed if the judge finds there was entrapment or other process abuses.
Lawyers for both of the accused argue undercover police officers posing as extremist jihadist sympathizers manipulated and pushed Nuttall and Korody, who are both former heroin addicts with money problems and had recently converted to the Muslim faith.
“The RCMP manufactured this crime, and that is not permissible in our law,” said Nuttall’s lawyer Marilyn Sandford following the verdicts. “We also have arguments that the police themselves committed crimes. They were involved in exactly the same activities as our clients were to a large extent, at least some of them.”
Korody’s lawyer said his client is prepared for the next stage, describing the entrapment process as where “the rubber hits the road in this case.”
Crown prosecutors maintain the couple knew what they were doing and used the undercover officers – who they believed had legitimate terrorist connections – to obtain explosives, which they used to make pressure-cooker bombs similar to those used in the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon attack.
During the trial, which began in February, the jury saw dozens of hours of undercover video showing Nuttall and Korody meeting with the police operative, making plans for the Victoria attack and constructing the bombs – which police ensured were inert – in a Delta hotel room.
“This is going to rock the world,” Nuttall told his wife in one of the videos. “Al-Qaeda Canada – that’s who we are.”
In another video clip, he tells her they can’t “screw up” or their affiliate (the undercover officer) will “turn from a real nice guy to a monster.”
A date will be set next week to hear the entrapment arguments in July.
– with files from CBC