The man accused of killing a young Burnaby teen close to six years ago pleaded not guilty Wednesday (April 5) as the trial got under way at the B.C. Supreme Court.
Ibrahim Ali is charged with first-degree murder in the death of the youth, whose name is protected by a court-ordered publication ban. The young teen was found dead in Burnaby’s Central Park, not far from her home, just hours after her parents reported her missing on July 18, 2017.
Ali is a Syrian national who had only been living in B.C. for about four months prior to the girl’s death.
On Wednesday, he sat in a black office chair, dressed in a black suit and white button down shirt, with his black hair slicked back to the nape of his neck. Addressing the jury through a translator, he insisted “I did not, I did not kill ––.”
Justice Lance Bernard accepted the statement as a ‘not guilty’ plea.
The jury is not expected to hear any evidence Wednesday, with Crown scheduled to present its opening statements and call its first witness on Thursday morning.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect a publication ban issued on the victim’s name.