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Bank records show accused Ali in same city as victim on day of B.C. murder

Media wait outside B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. Rick Mihic, a senior investigator at Vancouver City Savings Credit Unit, says a bank account registered to Ibrahim Ali shows transactions in Burnaby on July 18, 2017, the day a 13-year-old was murdered in a B.C. park. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A bank account registered to Ibrahim Ali shows transactions in Burnaby, B.C., on July 18, 2017, the same day a 13-year-old was murdered in a city park, a senior investigator at Vancouver City Savings Credit Union testified Wednesday.

Rick Mihic told Ali’s first-degree murder trial in B.C. Supreme Court that there were three purchases made from the man’s account that day, including one from a Freshslice Pizza and two others from a Chevron.

He testified he wasn’t able to tell the address of the businesses or the time of the purchases from the records.

However, under cross-examination, Mihic told the court he believes there is a way, through a third-party platform, to obtain timing information of Interact transactions.

Ali has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of the teen, whose body was found in Burnaby’s Central Park early on July 19, 2017, just hours after her mother reported her missing.

Crown attorney Isobel Keeley said in her opening statement in April that the court would hear evidence showing the murder was random, but cellphone and bank records would prove Ali was in Burnaby that day, while DNA results would prove he sexually assaulted the girl.

She said the evidence would show the teen, whose name is under a publication ban, was passing through the park when she was dragged off a pathway into the forest by Ali, sexually assaulted and strangled.

The defence has not yet revealed its theory of events to the jury.

During his cross-examination of Mihic Wednesday, defence lawyer Kevin McCullough drew attention to a number of transactions from International News. He then asked the witness whether he was aware that, in 2017, the “cheapest pack of smokes was an $11 pack at International News.”

Mihic said he does not smoke so he could not say.

Crown witness and RCMP forensic biologist Christine Crossman testified earlier this month that police obtained a “cast-off” DNA sample from Ali in the form of a discarded cigarette butt in August 2018 and matched it to an unknown male’s genetic material found on the girl’s body.

The match led police to obtain a warrant to formally get a sample from Ali, which again matched DNA from the body that was found in Burnaby’s Central Park.

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