A judge today declared an Ottawa man unfit to stand trial for the murder of his two sisters.

29-year-old Musab A-Noor will now go back to the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre for further treatment.

A-Noor was charged in the stabbing deaths of his sisters, 32-year-old Nasiba and 29-year-old Asma on December 16th.   The two women were leaders in the Muslim community.  At their funeral, they were honoured for their compassion and zest for life. 

A-Noor appeared in court today by video. It is the first time the court has actually seen him even though he was to appear 5 times before this.   Wearing a blanket over his head, the 29-year-old stared blankly out the window, completely ignoring or oblivious to the court proceedings unfolding before him.

“There's not much I can say,” A-Noor’s lawyer Samir Adam said outside court today, “The doctor made clear observations that he was unwell and I will leave it at that.”

That doctor is forensic psychiatrist Michelle Mathias who did an assessment on A-Noor at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre on December 30th.  Mathias says A-Noor suffers from both schizophrenia and catatonia.

“Catatonia is a severe form of psychosis,” Dr. Mathias said outside court, “that leads an individual to exhibit a variety of symptoms including possible mutism where one cannot speak, odd postures, even waxy flexibility where you lift your arm and it won't drop with gravity as it usually would.”

Inside court, she described her assessment of A-Noor and his inability to grasp what had happened.

“I asked him if he knew what charges he was facing. He said “Murder I think, but I’m not sure."

A-Noor was arrested near his McCarthy Road home December 16th where his sisters were found stabbed to death.  The two women were remembered as generous and loving.  More than 15 hundred people attended their funeral.

Two family members attended today's court proceedings but declined to comment.

Dr. Mathias said in her assessment on A-Noor, “What struck me was his limited movement.  He was tearful, but even as the tears fell, there was a flatness” to his expression. 

A-Noor had been taking his medications at the Royal Ottawa when his catatonia had been worse but Dr. Mathias told court over the last few days, he's refused to take his anti-psychotics, believing he doesn't need them.

She added, “I am very confident he is currently unfit to stand trial."

Outside court, she clarified, “It has to be said that fitness to stand trial is not the equivalent of becoming fully well.  It’s a different bar and a different standard; one that continues to be assessed throughout his hospitalization.”

A-Noor now goes back to the Royal Ottawa for not more than 60 days.  He will be on a variety of drugs to control his mental illness with the prospect that he may be made fit to answer to these murder charges.

He's back in court February 1st for a status report and then again at the end of that 60 day period March 6th.