Psychiatrist set for seventh day of testimony in van attack trial

The Canadian Press

TORONTO–A psychiatrist retained by the defence is set to testify for the seventh straight day at the trial for the man who killed 10 people on a Toronto sidewalk with a rental van.

Dr. Alexander Westphal is nearing completion of his testimony in the trial of Alek Minassian, who has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 of attempted murder.

The defence argues Minassian should be found not criminally responsible for his actions on April 23, 2018, due to autism spectrum disorder.

Westphal has said Minassian lacks empathy and does not understand the moral wrongfulness of killing 10 people, but said a finding of criminal responsibility is a legal matter rather than a psychiatric one.

Minassian has admitted to planning and carrying out the attack, which leaves his state of mind at the time the sole issue at trial.

Another psychiatrist previously testified Minassian does not meet the test to be found not criminally responsible.