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Trial begins in Montreal for two youths charged with terrorism related offences

MONTREAL — A trial is underway in Montreal for two youths charged with terrorism-related offences.

El Mahdi Jamali and Sabrine Djermane each face four charges.

Both pleaded not guilty today through their lawyers.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc David asked some 150 prospective jurors whether, given the terrorism charges, their ability to judge the case impartially would be affected by the fact the accused are of Arab descent and practise the Muslim faith.

Jamali and Djermane are charged with attempting to leave Canada to commit a terror act abroad; possession of an explosive substance; facilitating a terrorist act; and committing an act under the direction or for the profit of a terrorist organization.

The trial is expected to last 10 weeks.

The federal prosecutor trying the case rattled off the names of 31 Crown witnesses who will testify.

David said the trial could hear from its first witnesses as soon as the selection is completed.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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