Trial dates set for man accused of assaulting Moncton bartender

·2 min read

A 21-year-old man accused of assaulting a Moncton bartender in November has chosen to be tried in provincial court by judge alone over 10 days in April.

Abdallah Abu Zeid, 21, faces a charge of aggravated assault against Jacques Vautour on Nov. 8 in downtown Moncton.

Zeid has remained in custody since his arrest in early December. He was denied bail on Dec. 22.

Christian Libotte, one of the two lawyers representing Zeid, entered a not guilty plea on his client's behalf during an appearance Tuesday morning before provincial court Judge Paul Duffie.

Abdallah Abu Zeid/Facebook
Abdallah Abu Zeid/Facebook

"I'm looking for a trial date as soon as possible because my client is detained," Libotte said. He said he expected the trial would likely only take two to three days.

Crown prosecutors Martine Cormier and Justin Hebert told the judge prosecutors expect to call 25 witnesses to testify, which could take up to 10 days.

"Ten days is going to take months and months and months," Libotte said of trying to find time in the court schedule for a trial lasting that long.

"We can't find 10 days," Duffie said. "We'll have to bump something else."

The judge said it used to be normal to schedule trials within three months.

After the lawyers and the judge went through various options, the trial was scheduled for April 19 to 30.

Duffie also scheduled a pre-trial resolution conference, which he told Zeid would involve a judge and the lawyers trying to resolve the case without going to trial. That conference is set for Jan. 27.

He also said they will likely schedule a pre-trial conference to deal with what evidence is going to be presented and what evidence the Crown and defence agree on.

He also said it would be a time to ensure that if there is video, that it works properly.

Zeid, wearing orange jail-issued clothing, said little during the appearance beyond occasionally acknowledging he understood the proceedings. The proceedings are being simultaneously translated from English to Arabic.

Zeid will remain in custody pending the outcome of the trial.

Submitted by Gary Vautour
Submitted by Gary Vautour

Vautour, 42, was found badly injured on a sidewalk along Foundry Street after finishing a shift at Navigators Pub. Zeid was arrested and charged in early December.

Gary Vautour previously told CBC News that his brother Jacques had intervened earlier in the night when staff at the bar entrance stopped some people from entering, and a scuffle broke out.

Gary Vautour said his brother spent days in hospital recovering from a broken nose, broken cheek bone, swollen eyes and other facial injuries.