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Luka Magnotta seeks to have public banned from hearing next week

Luka Rocco Magnotta’s mental state in 2005 prompted a judge to reduce his sentence.

Uncredited/AP

When Luka Magnotta returns before a judge for his preliminary hearing next week in Montreal, he'll seek to have the public banned entirely from the courtroom.

While a publication ban on evidence heard at a preliminary hearing is normal, Magnotta's lawyer has also asked to bar everyone except the judge, the lawyers in the case and the court clerk from the room.

The motion states that the grounds for the request stem from an unspecified reason related to Magnotta's personal and medical history, which have not been disclosed in the document.

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The motion was filed in Quebec Court last Thursday by Luc Leclair, Magnotta's Toronto-based lawyer. It will be debated next Monday.

Magnotta is charged with first-degree murder and other charges in the slaying and dismemberment of Chinese-born student Jun Lin last May.

Magnotta became the subject of an international manhunt after parts of Lin's body began turning up across the country.

The attempts to track him down made headlines around the world.

A spokesman for the Crown prosecutor's office says this morning that there won't be any comment until after the motion is debated.

Magnotta's preliminary hearing is expected to last at least two weeks and several dates could be added in June, if necessary.

His brief appearances since his arrest have been the subject of heavy media coverage.

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