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B.C. mother stands by terror accused

John Nuttall is shown in this undated photo. The mother of a British Columbia man co-accused of planning to bomb the B.C. legislature on Canada day last year is speaking out about her son and the charges against him. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kristina Verruyt -
John Nuttall is shown in this undated photo. The mother of a British Columbia man co-accused of planning to bomb the B.C. legislature on Canada day last year is speaking out about her son and the charges against him. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kristina Verruyt
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By Vivian Luk, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - Nearly a year after a British Columbia man was arrested for allegedly plotting to bomb the B.C. legislature during Canada Day, his mother says she maintains her firm belief in his innocence.

John Nuttall and his co-accused Amanda Korody were charged last July in what Mounties described as a plan to use pressure cooker bombs to target celebrations in Victoria.

The two are in B.C. Supreme Court this week as Justice Catherine Bruce hears a four-day legal application related to the charges.

The submissions are under a publication ban and details cannot be reported.

Nuttall's mother, Maureen Smith, who travelled from Victoria to attend the hearing, said outside the Vancouver courthouse on Wednesday that it is important for her to support her son during the most trying time in his life, even though hearing the legal arguments is "brutal."

The pair were arrested on Canada Day 2013 and each is charged with facilitating terrorist activity and making or possessing explosives.

None of the allegations against them have been proven in court.

"I want to be here to support my son, to show him that this is the most important thing," Smith said. "I know he's innocent and I got to be here for him."

Smith said she was in disbelief when she first heard about Nuttall's arrest last year.

"A year ago, when I found out that he got arrested, I thought it was a joke," she said. "My son would never, ever harm an innocent person."

Smith said Nuttall and Korody, who have been dating for roughly seven years, minded their own business.

"All they did was play video games and they would go for a coffee, maybe — not even once a day, they couldn't afford it," she said.

A jury trial is expected to begin in January 2015.

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