Bertuzzi might not attend arraignment

Updated: August 10, 2004, 3:58 PM ET
Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- A plea will be entered in Todd Bertuzzi's assault case Aug. 26, but the hockey player may not be in court to make it.

Bertuzzi's lawyer Len Doust said his client doesn't have to appear at the arraignment and he isn't sure if Bertuzzi will come to court that day.

Bertuzzi, who plays for the Vancouver Canucks, was charged with assault on June 24 after sucker-punching Colorado Avalanche center Steve Moore during a game on March 8.

Bertuzzi was suspended indefinitely by the NHL, missing 13 regular-season games and seven postseason games, losing nearly $502,000 in salary, following his blind-side punch to Moore's head.

Moore was hospitalized with three fractured vertebrae, facial cuts, post-concussion symptoms and amnesia. Nerves in the neck area were stretched.

Doust told provincial court Judge William Kitchen there's been cooperation on disclosure of evidence, but one police investigator is in Europe, which may slow the process.

The Vancouver Sun has applied to use recording devices and take photographs in court if Bertuzzi pleads not guilty and proceeds to a trial.

The newspaper's representatives also asked, on behalf of CanWest Global TV affiliates, that the court allow television cameras in the courtroom.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press