Bail delayed for accused airport bomb-parts smuggler
Published Tuesday, October 29, 2013 9:38AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 29, 2013 12:25PM EDT
The bail hearing for the man accused of trying to bring explosive devices into Trudeau Airport has been delayed until Nov. 6, 2013.
Confusion erupted in court Tuesday when three lawyers presented themselves, saying they had been asked to represent the accused.
The hearing was postponed while the lawyers worked out who would actually be working on behalf of Anthony Piazza.
In the end Franco Uezzoni will represent Piazza for future dates, including the bail hearing next week.
Piazza, 71, formerly known as Houshang Nazemi, was arrested Sunday after allegedly bringing a bag containing concealed explosive devices through customs at Trudeau Airport.
When security agents discovered the items hidden in the bag the airport was thrown into disarray, with more than a dozen flights delayed and every passenger destined to travel on Piazza's plane questioned by police.
Piazza was officially charged in court on Monday with possessing explosive substances, attempting to get those substances into an airplane and mischief.
Police acknowledged that the man is not charged with carrying a bomb, but said he was carrying materials that could be used to create one, and found it suspicious that they were placed in a hidden compartment within the bag.
Attorney Louis Morena, who represented Piazza in court on Monday, said Piazza is accused of carrying bullets, powder, and lighters, but his client is protesting his innocence.
"He claims, in the police report, claims he's innocent -- the bag belonged to somebody else," said Morena.
The maximum sentence for the charge of mischief is ten years, but the crown says the investigation is ongoing and could lead to more serious charges.
Piazza is a Canadian citizen, originally from Iran, who changed his name from Houshang Nazemi within the past decade.
In 1986 he was convicted of drug trafficking and possession and sentenced to ten years in prison.
The neighbours of his Airlie Ave. residence in LaSalle were ignorant of Piazza's former name and his criminal past, but those who knew he said he was always pleasant and cheerful.
"He was a normal guy, very polite, we always said 'hello,'" said the man who lives above Piazza's apartment.
Alvaro Farinacci did not know Piazza, but said the street he lived on was not a place anyone stayed for long.
"Every moving day there's always three to four, maybe five families that move, so it is a transient section of the street, but quiet," said Farinacci.