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Police officer attacked: Suspect to go to trial in Edmonton on 12 charges

EDMONTON — A man accused in the attempted murder of an Edmonton police officer is facing a trial after two mental-health assessments found he's fit to do so.

Abdulahi Hasan Sharif faces 12 charges, including a new one of  aggravated assault, related to a Sept. 30 attack outside a football game.

Some of the charges stem from a police pursuit of a speeding cube van that hit and injured four pedestrians in downtown Edmonton hours after the police officer was attacked.

"Essentially he has been deemed fit to stand trial," Sharif's lawyer, Karanpaul Aujla, said outside provincial court Wednesday.

"We move on to the next step, depending on what that might be. It will be decided in some short little while."

Sharif did not enter a plea Wednesday.

Both Aujla and Crown prosecutor Shelley Bykewich agreed to waive a preliminary hearing and go directly to trial in Court of Queen's Bench before judge alone.

Sharif's case moved slowly at first because a bed shortage at the Alberta Hospital mental facility in Edmonton delayed the psychiatric assessments.

His first assessment in January found Sharif currently fit to stand trial. The second one concluded he was not suffering from mental-health issues at the time of his alleged involvement in the attack.

Aujla said he was surprised by that finding.

"In my opinion, it found substantial mental-health issues. However, the test required for NCR (not criminally responsible) is quite, quite high, and the mental issues that were found don't necessarily raise it to the level for him to be NCR."

Aujla said Sharif is suffering from issues related to his background as a Somalian refugee.

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

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