Suspected killer Magnotta lands at Mirabel Airport
Luka Magnotta exits a plane at Mirabel Airport on June 18, 2012 (SPVM handout)
Published Tuesday, June 19, 2012 9:51AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 19, 2012 9:30PM EDT
MONTREAL — Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man suspected of killing and dismembering Lin Jun, a student at Concordia University, was flown back to Canada under police escort on Monday.
He is scheduled to appear in the Montreal courthouse Tuesday afternoon, possibly via videoconference.
Held in Berlin since he was arrested on June 4, Magnotta chose not to fight his extradition back to Canada. With Montreal police arriving in the German capital over the weekend to complete the transfer, the suspect was loaded aboard a Royal Canadian Air Force jet on Monday morning.
The airlifter landed at Montreal's Mirabel Airport, used mostly for cargo flights, just before 7:00 p.m. on Monday. First met by members of Canada's border patrol inside the Airbus, Magnotta was brought to an unmarked burgundy van staffed by members of Montreal's SWAT squad.
"It all went very well on the flight, it was very quiet," said Ian Lafreniere, a spokesman for the Montreal police.
Magnotta was closely guarded by six Montreal police officers on the flight.
A convoy of police and emergency vehicles with flashing lights met Magnotta at the airport. Armed guards were on standby as he was whisked away in one of the cars.
"We're extremely happy and relieved now (that) the accused killer is in Montreal and will face justice," Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere told reporters shortly after Magnotta's arrival at the airport. "That will be also helpful to the family."
Allegations of Magnotta's grisly murder of the Chinese student became a global story as details emerged of the killing. Montreal police confirmed last Friday they had obtained a longer version of the infamous video which appears to show the crime.
The video, which is more lengthy than that which was posted on the internet, also contains audio and will be used as evidence in the investigation.
A global manhunt ensued as Magnotta fled first to France and then Germany. The suspect was finally nabbed at an Internet cafe in a seedy part of Berlin when he was recognized by the cafe's employee. When Berlin police arrested Magnotta, he was reading stories of his own evasion from authorities.
Lin's family is still in Montreal, wrapping up the young man's affairs before they return to China with the body.
The extradition process required collaboration among federal authorities, Montreal police, the Quebec Prosecution Service and German officials.
In a statement, both Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews lauded this co-operation.
"It is important that Canadians can have confidence that those who are accused of serious crimes will face the full force of the law," the statement read.
The original arrest warrant issued for Magnotta cited five criminal charges, including first-degree murder, but Lafreniere said Monday that number could change.
Montreal investigators have yet to formally question Magnotta, he said.
Lafraniere said police considered various safety measures when they decided to bring Magnotta back to Canada on a military flight.
Police had to consider how passengers on a commercial flight would react to having a suspected killer on the same plane, he said. There was also the risk of the plane getting diverted to another country, which could pose all sorts of legal problems.
"We needed a direct flight," Lafreniere said.
The large convoy waiting for Magnotta at Mirabel Airport was assembled because police feared other vehicles might chase Magnotta down the highway, Lafreniere said.
"You're talking about a very special case. You're talking about one of the largest manhunts in Montreal's history," he said. "But we're happy to say…everything went smoothly."
With a report from CTVNews.ca Staff