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Suspect in Quebec election shooting gives judge a list of requests and questions

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MONTREAL - The man charged in Quebec's election-night shooting whistled as he entered a courtroom on Friday with four paper bags full of papers and evidence and a lengthy list of requests and questions.

Evidence on the second day of Richard Henry Bain's preliminary hearing remained subject to a publication ban that was granted after a request by the Crown.

Bain is facing 16 charges, including first-degree murder in the death of stagehand Denis Blanchette as Premier Pauline Marois delivered her election victory speech.

A judge began hearing evidence this week to determine whether there is sufficient cause to send Bain, 62, to trial.

That evidence is subject to a temporary publication ban requested by the Crown.

The ban is being contested by some media and Bain himself. The judge will render a decision on the matter next week.

Bain was in an inquisitive mood Friday, asking Quebec court Judge Pierre Labelle about a variety of legal topics, including the possibility of applying for bail.

Bain has been representing himself since legal aid said he didn't qualify.

He told the judge he had written a letter to Quebec Superior Court requesting a lawyer. He was told he needed to file a motion to that effect.

Bain also asked if he was permitted to waive his right to a preliminary inquiry and go straight to trial. Labelle told him he could, but only with the Crown's consent.

He also wondered if he could argue to have the first-degree murder charge reduced. Labelle replied he could once the Crown had finished its case.

Labelle patiently answered his questions and requests for 30 minutes or so. He told Bain many of the requests were outside his jurisdiction.

Bain took in what the judge had to say, scribbling notes before finally sitting down to listen to more testimony from a crime-scene technician. Later on Friday, he cross-examined a witness himself, still furiously writing notes and asking questions.

Bain also gave the court a two-page list of 40 names of witnesses he intends to have heard. He told the court he managed to strike 26 names off his original list.

Crown prosecutor Eliane Perreault expects to call 33 witnesses in all.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled to continue sitting next Friday.

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