‘It was murder’

Crown delivers its closing arguments in Shafia honour killing trial


The Crown prosecutor made her closing remarks at the Shafia “honour killing” trial on Wednesday, telling the jury what she believes the evidence presented at the months-long trial proves. “This evidence alone establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that what happened to these girls was no accident,” Laurie Lacelle told the jury. “It was murder.”

Tooba Yahya, her husband Mohammed Shafia and their 21-year-old son Hamed Shafia each stand accused of four counts of first degree murder. The charges were laid after the bodies of four women—three of them girls between the ages of 13 and 19—were found dead in a car in the Rideau Canal in Kingston, Ont. The three girls—Zainab, Sahar and Geeti—were the daughters of Shafia and Yahya. The fourth dead was Rona Amir, Shafia’s second wife in a secretly a polygamous marriage.

Lacelle took the jury through the evidence that had been presented to them during the trial. She talked of how pieces of the headlights from the family’s Lexus were found near the Rideau Canal where the submerged Nissan was found, suggesting they had nudged it into the water. She also questioned the credibility of Hamed Shafia’s testimony. He had previously told the jury that he was on the scene when his sisters’ car plunged into the canal, but that it had done so on its own as the driver tried to turn around. Hamed claimed he didn’t call 911 out of fear of his father’s reaction.

A day earlier,defence lawyer Patrick McCann had made his closing statement, arguing that account—however ridiculous—is the truth. “Hamed is guilty of being stupid—morally blameworthy—but other than that, he is not responsible for the girls’ deaths, nor were his parents,” McCann he said, quoted by . “It’s time to put an end to this Kafkaesque [episode] they’ve been going through for the past two and a half years, since the night of June 30.”

As the trial comes to a close, the defence maintains the deaths were an accident, while the Crown insists the Amir and the Shafia sisters were murdered by their family because they were thought to have dishonoured the Shafia name through alleged promiscuity and other disapproved behaviour.

UPDATE (11:30 a.m.): The Kingston courtroom where the trial is being held has been evacuated due to a security threat. A defence lawyer leaving the building reportedly indicated that there may have been a bomb threat, but that has not been confirmed by Kingston police. The trial, which was scheduled to hear more closing arguments from the Crown Thursday, has been delayed until 1 p.m. EST, and the three accused were taken away in a van.

CBC News

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‘It was murder’

  1. How deep have we sunk in this beautiful country of ours.  Could anybody out there imagine reading anything like that in Canada in the 50ties, or anything like it.
    How long will this charade be going on. Is say they are guilty beyond…………………..

  2. Walterandlois: May be things are not as in 50s. Having a german accent no longer means that it will hard to rent an apartment. 

  3. Rona Amir was Shafia’s first wife.

  4. What puzzles me is where and when the girls/woman were executed. Did they die enroute from Niagara Falls?  Also, did another person or group assist in the executions?  For example, were the females killed in the area of Toronto?

    • i heard rideau canal

  5. such people are not true Muslims. Islam forbids honor killings and murder is a major sin. how dare these people call themselves Muslims. they made their daughters helpless and abused them constantly. in islam women and girls are honored and valued not looked down upon. shafia and his wife shall go to hell.

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