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Borutski makes appearance in Pembroke courtroom

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

Basil Borutski
Court sketch by Greg Banning/Postmedia Network

Basil Borutski Court sketch by Greg Banning/Postmedia Network


Despite a court order to get a lawyer, the man charged with first degree murder in the deaths of three Renfrew County women has yet to retain the services of one.


Basil Borutski made a brief appearance in a Pembroke courtroom Thursday where he learned he will remain in custody at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre. The case has been adjourned until March 10.

Borutski is charged with three counts of first-degree murder. On Sept. 22, the bodies of 36-year-old Anastasia Kuzyk and 48-year-old Nathalie Warmerdam were found slain in their homes in Wilno and Bonnechere Valley. Carol Culleton, 66, was found murdered in her cottage near Barry's Bay.

Wearing a grey coat, his hair dishevelled and a featuring a beard, the 58-year-old defendant sat motionless in the prisoner's dock and said nothing during the five-minute hearing.

Crown attorney Jeff Richardson informed the court that the first round of disclosure has been sent to the accused, however, a second amount of disclosure from the investigators needs to be reviewed before it can be passed on, a process that could take four to six weeks.

Noting that five months has lapsed since Borutski's arrest in a farmer's field in Kinburn near Ottawa, Justice Robert Selkirk encouraged the Crown's office to use all available resources to complete the disclosure phase of the case.

“I appreciate this is a very large investigation,” said Selkirk.

Duty counsel Biagio Del Greco informed the court that he had not yet received instructions from Borutski in regards to retaining a lawyer. Selkirk added the case will need to move forward soon. Borutski has yet to be arraigned in the case. The court ordered a five-day assessment of Borutski to see if he is fit to stand trial.

As they have been for Borutski's previous court appearances, the Women's Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County held a demonstration outside the courthouse on Pembroke Street East.


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