Minister's husband agrees to psychiatric assessment on charges he assaulted her

The husband of Nova Scotia's immigration minister has been taken into custody at a psychiatric hospital on charges he assaulted, threatened and choked her on New Year's Eve.

Maroun Diab was in Halifax provincial court Thursday where he consented to a 30-day assessment at the East Coast Forensic Hospital to determine his fitness to stand trial and criminal responsibility.

Diab had been released on a series of conditions last month, including prohibiting him from having any contact with his wife, Lena Diab, and two other people.

He also faces two counts of threatening two other people and will return to court March 8.

Halifax police confirmed that the 58-year-old was arrested early New Year's Day after they received a call shortly before midnight from the Diabs' home near Mount Saint Vincent University.

Lena Diab later described the incident as a ``very tragic, sad, private and personal matter,'' and publicly thanked the community for supporting her and her family of four children and one grandchild.