Nova Scotia cabinet minister issues brief statement about alleged assault

(CP) - Nova Scotia's immigration minister has issued her first public statement since her husband was charged with assaulting her on New Year's Eve, thanking supporters and committing to continuing her work for the province.

Lena Diab spoke in a quiet, halting voice Thursday as she described enduring a "very tragic, sad, private and personal matter."

The cabinet minister and entrepreneur declined to respond to questions after a cabinet meeting in Halifax.

Premier Stephen McNeil also declined to comment on the case, except to say that his "love and support" was with his colleague.

Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard said she didn't want to comment on Diab's case, but she took the opportunity to say domestic violence continues to be an insidious crime that affects people from all walks of life.

Later in the day, Diab's husband, Maroun Diab, made his first appearance in Halifax provincial court, where he was released on a series of conditions.