The trial of the alleged murderer of 13-year-old Burnaby teen Marissa Shen began on Wednesday, six years after the accused was arrested.
Ibrahim Ali, who is a refugee from Syria, was arrested in Sept. 2018, months after Shen’s body was discovered.
Ali pleaded not guilty in a packed courtroom.
“I did not kill Marrisa Shen,” said Ali.
Tens of thousands of pages of evidence have been filed by Crown prosecutors in the trial, which is expected to last through the Summer.
Prior court appearances have seen protests blaming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s immigration and refugee policies for the murder.
In 2019, protesters holding signs that read “Hold Trudeau accountable” and “Punish murderers” demonstrated outside of the Vancouver courthouse.
Ali was identified as a suspect following an investigation into over 2,000 candidates.