Shafia mother claims she lied to protect son

Tooba Mohammad Yahya says the story she first told police was false, and intended to protect her son

Tooba Mohammad Yahya, a mother accused of being implicated in the “honor killings” of three of her daughters and her husband’s first wife says she lied to police to protect her son. The Globe and Mail reports that Yahya initially told a Farsi-speaking RCMP officer investigating the case that she and her son were at the scene when the car in which the four victims died plunged into a canal near Kinsgton in the summer of 2009. On the stand, though, she rapidly retracted that statement. Yahya now contends that she, her husband Mohammad Shafia, and their son Hamed–all co-accused–were sleeping in a hotel in Kingston when the car ended up in the canal. Her teenaged daughters, Zainab, Sahar and Geeti Shafia, and her husband’s first wife, Rona Amir Mohammad, were all found dead inside the vehicle. Yahya says her daughter Zainab fetched the keys from her hotel room, allegedly to retrieve something from the car, and that what happened afterward remains a mystery. Yahya, who lived in Afghanistan for 21 years before coming to Canada, also says she had never heard of so-called “honour killings” until police proceedings began in this case.

Globe and Mail

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.