“They betrayed kindness. They betrayed Islam. They betrayed our religion and creed. They betrayed our tradition. They betrayed everything,” Mohammad Shafia, 58, is heard telling his wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 41, in the conversation recorded by police.
KINGSTON, Ont. – A Montreal man charged with killing his three daughters cursed them as “treacherous” for having boyfriends and said even if they came back to life 100 times he would “do the same again,” court heard Monday.
“Even if, God forbid, they hoist us onto the gallows … we accept it wholeheartedly,” Mohammad Shafia is heard telling his wife and son on a police intercept one day before the three were arrested.
Shafia, 58, his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 41, and their son, Hamed, 20, have each pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder.
Three teenage Shafia sisters, Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, along with Rona Amir Mohammad, 50, Shafia’s other wife in a polygamous marriage, were found dead inside a car submerged in the Rideau Canal in Kingston, Ont., on June 30, 2009.
Several intercepts, made from listening devices placed in the family’s minivan, home and on Hamed’s cellphone in the days leading up to their July 22, 2009, arrests, were played in court Monday. Shafia largely dominates the conversations, lamenting the fact that his daughters were dating, and ranting about family honour.
Court has heard that much of the family turmoil surrounded Zainab and her boyfriend, whom she married for one day, and relatives have testified that Shafia wanted to kill her. Yahya is heard on one intercept saying she knew Zainab was “already done,” but she wishes the “two others” weren’t.
“No Tooba, they were treacherous,” Shafia says, likening them to prostitutes. “When I tell you to be patient, you tell me that it is hard. It isn’t harder than watching them every hour with (boyfriends). For this reason whenever I see those pictures, I am consoled.
“I say to myself, ‘You did well. Would they come back to life a hundred times, for you to do the same again,'” Shafia says on the intercepts, translated from their native Dari, a dialect from Afghanistan. “That is how hurt I am. Tooba, they betrayed us immensely. They violated us immensely. There can be no betrayal, no treachery, no violation more than this.”
Shafia repeats his apparent threat about “a hundred times” on another intercept, saying, “If I have a cleaver in my hand, I will cut him/her in pieces.”
“If we remain alive one night or one year, we have no tension in our hearts, (thinking that) our daughter is in the arms of this or that boy, in the arms of this or that man,” Shafia says.
“May the devil…(defecate) on their graves. Is that what a daughter should be? Would (a daughter) be such a whore?”