(Quebec) François Legault claims he misspoke when he said last Friday he was “glad we got rid of the suspected perpetrator of the triple homicide that rocked Montreal and Laval last week.” Suspect Abdulla Shaikh, who was shot dead by officers, suffered from serious mental health problems.
Posted at 12:44pm
Fanny Levesque The press
“What I wanted to say is that I’m glad the suspect has been put out of the way,” corrected the Prime Minister on Monday. “Of course I wasn’t happy that he died, we don’t want that. There are people who have mental problems. There will be an investigation there by the coroner and police to see why that person was released,” Mr Legault continued.
The prime minister answered questions from journalists during a visit to Sept-Îles on the north coast on Monday, where he confirmed his candidate in Duplessis, Kateri Champagne Jourdain. Last Friday, François Legault wondered why Abdulla Shaikh had been “released” when he was “already the target” of allegations and had mental health problems.
“I’m glad we got rid of this person,” he said the day after the death of the suspect, who was shot dead by police at a motel in the Saint-Laurent neighborhood. His comments caused some controversy. Abdulla Shaikh’s former lawyer said such a statement was “disgusting from a prime minister”.
“The blood made me three turns when I heard that. I was shocked. It’s unacceptable,” protested Me François Legault, who shares the same name as the Prime Minister, in an interview with La Presse. He added that “even the worst criminals” “have the right to a fair and just trial, to defend themselves and to be defended”. According to Me Legault, such a remark can also “be stigmatizing for people suffering from mental disorders.”
Recall that according to court documents, Abdulla Shaikh was diagnosed with schizophrenia and having narcissistic and antisocial personality traits. In 2016, he was charged with sexual assault and assault, among other things. His trial was scheduled for next January in Laval. It was also revealed that the Mental Disorders Review Board approved the release of Abdulla Shaikh last March despite him posing a “significant risk to public safety”.