Preliminary inquiry set for man accused of killing Belgian tourist

Sean McKenzie charged with killing Amelie Sakkalis, 28 on Aug. 22 near Boston Bar

Preliminary inquiry dates were set in provincial court in Chilliwack Tuesday for the man accused of killing a Belgian tourist in the Fraser Canyon.

The preliminary inquiry is used in serious cases to test the Crown’s case to see if there is sufficient evidence for the trial proper to be held in B.C. Supreme Court.

Sean McKenzie, 27, of Oliver appeared via video link in Chilliwack on Tuesday simply to have the dates confirmed. This came after his second court appearance on Friday.

The eight-day preliminary inquiry dates are set for June 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 and 28.

• READ MORE: Man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

McKenzie is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Amelie Christelle Sakkalis’, whose body was found Aug. 22 in a rural area along Highway 1 around 10 kilometres north of Boston Bar.

McKenzie was initially arrested at the crime scene Aug. 22, but was let go after his arrest as police did not have enough evidence to detain him. A white Chevrolet Astro van found at the scene belonged to McKenzie.

Sakkalis was a 28-year-old Belgian national who was travelling through Canada before her death. McKenzie was not known to police, does not have a criminal record, and travels extensively through the province for work.

The two had apparently met that day, and police are looking for witnesses.

“If you saw [McKenzie] with Amelie Sakkalis that day, on Aug. 22, that’s important to us,” said IHIT spokesperson Cpl. Frank Jang. “Pick up the phone and call us.”

McKenzie’s first court appearance on Sept. 19 was an emotional one as more than a dozen friends and family were present. They declined to speak to the media.

• READ MORE: First court date in Chilliwack for man accused of murdering Belgian tourist


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paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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