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Crown and defence make final arguments as Kitchener murder trial comes to a close

Lawyers for both the defence and the Crown gave their closing arguments to the jury Tuesday as the second-degree murder trial of Ager Hasan comes to an end after five weeks.

Hasan has admitted to killing his ex-girlfriend Melinda Vasilije on April 28, 2017, but says she attacked him first, and after stabbing her twice, he blacked out.

On Tuesday morning, Hasan’s lawyer, Scott Reid, began his closing arguments by acknowledging this is a difficult case.

Reid said his client has admitted responsibility for Vasilije’s death, but despite this, he’s not guilty of second-degree murder.

"You might feel repulsed by him, you might hate him, but that does not mean he is guilty of murder,” Reid said to the jury.

He said the jury has to rely on evidence, not emotion.

Reid said they must believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Hasan intended to kill Vasilije.

Reid said evidence shows Vasilije provoked Hasan, who testified she attacked him with a knife after he confessed to cheating while they were together.

Fueled by a lifetime of trauma, Hasan attacked her back but blacked out and stabbed her a total of 47 times, Reid said.

Earlier in the trial, Hasan said he only remembered stabbing her two times that night.

Reid said this doesn’t point toward rage but rather a loss of control.

"If he blacked out, that’s not intentional,” Reid said.

According to Reid, if the jury believes this version of events, then his client is guilty of manslaughter and not second-degree murder.

"It is easy to be swayed by emotion. You must approach this without sympathy or animosity, but based solely on evidence. It’s easy to allow an emotional verdict, but that wouldn’t be right,” he said.

Earlier in the trial, Hasan testified that Vasilije attacked him with a knife after the confession.

The defence asked the jury to put themselves in Vasilije’s shoes and question if they would be angry.

"I bet there is some people in the courtroom, even some people on the jury who understand why she did what she did," Reid said.


Meanwhile, in its closing arguments, the Crown told the jury there was no reconciliation, there was no confession and that Vasilije never attacked Hasan.

The Crown said the evidence shows Hasan as "a man who was obsessed, relentless and fixated on his relationship with Melinda Vasilije and her loyalty to him."

The Crown said Hasan had many opportunities over their year-long relationship to come clean about cheating.

"He never decided to come clean at any point previously,” the Crown said. “Why would he do it now?"

The Crown further argued it was jealousy and obsession that sent Hasan back to her apartment that night.

"Ager Hasan refused to accept the end of the relationship,” the Crown said, adding he was filled with rage when he stabbed her 47 times.

The Crown also called Hasan's blackout claims into question, saying: “He can tell you everything that happened on April 28 other than 45 stab wounds … or is he saying that only to protect himself?”

The Crown said the fact that multiple knives were used indicates Hasan knew what he was doing, which suggests an intention to kill, not blacking out.

“The use of two knives suggests an intention to kill not blacking out…When one knife is bent he grabbed a different knife… is this someone who blacked out and lost control?”

On Wednesday, the judge will instruct the jury, and Hasan's fate will be in their hands. Top Stories

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