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Judicial pre-trial set for June 20 in Bruce McArthur case

Last Updated May 23, 2018 at 12:10 pm EDT

Bruce McArthur appeared by video in a Toronto courtroom on April 11, 2018, to face another charge of first-degree murder. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher

A judicial pre-trial has been set for June 20 in the case involving accused serial killer Bruce McArthur.

McArthur made a brief video appearance in the a courtroom at College Park in Toronto on Wednesday, appearing with a slight moustache, staring into the screen. His next court appearance is on June 22, which will also be by video.

A judicial pre-trial is a closed-door meeting that takes place between the Crown and defence attorneys, and judge in the case. The suspect is not present during this time.

The 66-year-old self-employed landscaper was arrested in January and faces eight counts of first-degree murder in connection with the disappearances of several men, most of whom had ties to Toronto’s gay village.

Police have so far recovered the remains of seven men from large planters at a Leaside home where McArthur worked and stored his equipment.

Police say cadaver dogs — including some from York Region police — are searching about 100 properties both inside and outside Toronto, all with ties to McArthur.

Last week, police said more than 1,800 exhibits have been seized and upwards of 18,000 photographs were taken during the months-long forensic examination of McArthur’s apartment on Thorncliffe Road.

McArthur was arrested in January and charged with the murders of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, who went missing from the city’s gay village in 2017. Later that month, McArthur was charged with the murders of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, and Dean Lisowick. In February, he was charged in the death of Skandaraj Navaratnam. The remains of Kayhan have not been found.

In April, police charged McArthur in the death of Abdulbasir Faizi, who was reported missing in 2010, and days later charged McArthur in the death of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, who came to Canada from Sri Lanka and was not reported missing.