HALIFAX -- A man accused in the fatal beating of prominent Halifax gay rights activist Raymond Taavel will stand trial, his lawyer said Monday as a preliminary inquiry for his client got underway.

Donald Murray said Andre Noel Denny, who is charged with second-degree murder, will stand trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

"We are going to have a trial in Supreme Court, but it's important for us to hear what witnesses are able to say and what their perspective on different events were," Murray said outside provincial court.

Preliminary hearings are intended to determine if there's enough evidence to warrant a trial, but Murray said the defence has already consented to commit it to trial.

A publication ban has been placed on evidence presented during the preliminary inquiry. Three days have been set aside.

Taavel, 49, was beaten to death when he tried to break up an early-morning fight between two men outside a bar on Gottingen Street on April 17, 2012.

Hours before Taavel's death, Denny had been released by the East Coast Forensic Hospital on an unsupervised one-hour pass, but he failed to return. He was later arrested.