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Robert Pickton to remain in medically induced coma until later this week: police

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Serial killer Robert Pickton will remain in a medically induced coma for at least the next few days following an attack in a Quebec prison Sunday, according to police spokesperson Hugues Beaulieu.

Beaulieu, a sergeant with Surete du Quebec, said medical staff treating Pickton will assess whether he can live without life support in "two or three days."

"The plan is to stay in an artificial coma for two or three more days and then probably try to wake him up," Beaulieu told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview on Wednesday.

"So probably in two or three days we'll see what will happen with his life. For now, he's on the machines to help him breathe."

Pickton was attacked in Port-Cartier Institution on Sunday in what officials described as a "major assault." He was serving a life sentence for six counts of second-degree murder. At the time of his trial in 2007, he'd been charged with the murders of 26 women, many of whom were Indigenous.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Beaulieu said investigators had not yet interviewed the 51-year-old suspect in the assault on Pickton. The suspect was incarcerated at Port-Cartier Institution at the time of the attack and remains in prison.

"Why he has been attacked we don't know, because the man who attacked him is in (solitary confinement)," he said. "He's screaming and we are not able to see him because he's not stable."

The Correctional Service of Canada said earlier this week the 74-year-old Pickton was transported from the Port-Cartier Institution to hospital for treatment, but declined to specify the nature or severity of his injuries.

Quebec provincial police said the attack occurred inside the prison around 5:15 p.m. local time and the victim "suffered serious injuries, leaving us to fear for his life."

Pickton — who is from British Columbia and committed his crimes there — was transferred from B.C.'s Kent Institution to Quebec about six years ago.

Correctional authorities gave no public explanation at the time, citing privacy. However, Darryl Plecas, a former prison judge at Kent, told The Canadian Press he believes Pickton's safety was likely at risk at the B.C. prison.

"Why would someone be moved out of B.C.? My guess would be he got moved for security reasons," Plecas told The Canadian Press on Wednesday.

During a post-caucus scrum in Ottawa on Wednesday, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc told reporters he is worried about the safety of the people who work in correctional facilities.

He said earlier this week that the correctional service would review the circumstances of the attack.

With files from CTVNewsVancouver.ca Journalist Todd Coyne and The Canadian Press 

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