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Bassis plead not guilty

After months of delays, accused gaybashers finally enter pleas

 Two brothers accused in the alleged June 12 gaybashing in Vancouver’s False Creek neighbourhood have pleaded not guilty.

Parminder Singh Peter Bassi, 30, is charged with two counts of assault causing bodily harm in connection with the incident, while Ravinder Robbie Bassi, 27, is charged with one count of assault causing bodily harm.

The trial is set to start Nov 7, 2011, in Vancouver Provincial Court.

Ravinder Bassi’s lawyer, David Baker, told Downtown Community Court Judge David Pendleton the trial should take about five days.

The pair is charged in connection with an attack on Peter Regier and David Holtzman.

Regier and Holtzman returned home the night of June 12 to find two men drinking on their doorstep. When Holtzman asked one of the men not to urinate near their door, he alleges the men hurled “a barrage” of homophobic slurs at them and then physically attacked them.

The men repeatedly called them “fucking faggots” and “cocksuckers,” Holtzman told Xtra after the incident, in which Regier says they were “attacked and savagely beaten.”

Both men were taken to hospital and treated for concussions. Regier required staples to close a head wound.

Crown prosecutor Helen James told Pendleton numerous videos and witnesses — including two RCMP officers and five Vancouver Police Department officers — will be included in the trial.

Regier and Holtzman were in court to hear the pleas on Oct 4 along with about 30 community supporters.

“I’m glad we’re moving forward,” Regier says. “I’m confident we’ll get the right result at the end.”

The Bassi brothers were arrested without incident on June 30 at their Richmond home. They have been released from jail and must abide by a number of court-imposed conditions.

The Oct 4 arraignment was the fourth appearance for the brothers.

They have yet to appear in the court, instead being represented by their lawyers.

Asked what he thought of the not-guilty pleas, Holtzman says, “I’m slightly bemused, given the vicious attack is so clearly visible on video.”

He and Regier don’t know how they might feel when they see their accused attackers again.

“I actually wouldn’t mind never seeing them again in my life, but I’m committed to getting through this,” Regier says. “It’s a terrible thing that happened to them too. I’m sure they’re suffering.”

Adds Holtzman, “I’m willing to go to a higher place. Let justice do its job.”