No evidence that the alleged killer was an accessory to the murder, his lawyer says in court

There is simply no evidence to link murder suspect Feysal Osman Abdul-Aziz to the fatal shooting of a Calgary man outside a Southeast hookah lounge, his attorney suggested Monday.

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Defense attorney Derek Jugnauth said Paul Jeffrey should order a “directed verdict” in the case of not guilty because there was no evidence to weigh.

Jugnauth said Crown prosecutors Matt Dalidowicz and Michelle Kai may have argued Abdul-Aziz encouraged the gunman who fatally shot Abdurahaman Indiris to join a hand-to-hand combat outside the Portico Hookah Lounge, but the video evidence doesn’t support their theory .

The lawyer said that Abdul-Aziz can be seen at one point raising his arm before walking to where the deadly altercation takes place. Prosecutors will argue that one move was an invitation to accused shooter Samuel Lugela to join the fight.

“There’s no waving,” Jugnauth said of his client’s arm movement.

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“This gesture is the raising of an arm. There is no discernible hand movement. It is impossible to know what was meant.”

Both Abdul-Aziz and Lugela are charged with second-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Indiris on September 12, 2020 outside 35 St. SE nightclub.

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On Friday, Lugela’s attorney Paul Moreau made a similar request before Jeffrey, asking the Calgary judge to determine that there was simply no evidence for the defense to respond to in the case.

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The trial is referred to as a motion for trial because, in the case of a jury trial, the judge would order the jury to enter an acquittal since there was no evidence that they could choose otherwise.

Dalidowicz argued that surveillance video from various locations showed Lugela with Adbul-Aziz throughout the evening, up to and including the time Indiris was shot.

In response to Jugnauth’s submissions, the prosecutor said there were several ways for Abdul-Aziz to become aware that the gunman he alleges was Lugela was armed.

As a result, Dalidowicz said, Abdul-Aziz’s invitation to get Lugela to join a scuffle outside the club in which Jugnauth’s client punched a fighter showed they were pulling together.

“He knew Mr. Lugela had a firearm on him and was ready to use it when he waved him into the fight,” the prosecutor said.

But Jugnauth responded that determining who most of the parties captured on various videos were was a futile exercise.

“Basically what you have here is an impossible match where Waldo is,” Jugnauth said.

Jeffrey will announce his decisions on both motions on Wednesday.