It's day eight of testimony at the sexual assault trial of Syrian refugee Soleiman Hajj Soleiman at the Edmonton Law Courts.
Hajj Soleiman is accused of six counts of sexual assault and six counts of sexual interference on girls all under the age of 16. The charges against him stem from a series of gropings and assaults that took place during the evening of February 4th, 2017 at Edmonton's World Waterpark wave pool.
The trial has been fraught with delays because the accused claims to require full English to Arabic word for word translation.
Court heard testimony from World Waterpark security personnel and two Edmonton City police officers.
The first officer testified that the accused didn’t speak a word to him but was able to follow his directions, given in English, as he was taken into cells at the West Edmonton Police Station.
The second police officer on the stand was the lead detective on the case who was working with the child protection unit at the time. She was directly involved in the interviews of all six complainants.
She testified that police seized a World Water Park admission wristband from the accused as part of his personal property the night he was taken into custody.
Both police officers on the stand today testified that they were unable to locate the rainbow swimming goggles and bright blue swimming shorts described by the lifeguards, the security guards, the child witness, and the child complainants as the clothing worn by the accused February 4th, 2017.
But besides direct testimony, I'm learning a lot about the supporters of the accused as I sit in the courtroom.
Yesterday afternoon, one of the supporters was stricken with such boredom that he fell asleep and began snoring in the courtroom. Today another supporter is back reading his hardcover library book during testimony.
They aren't even pretending to care anymore, and neither is the mainstream media. I remain the only reporter in the courtroom this week.