First degree murder. via All three guilty in Shafia murder trial; judge condems twisted concept of honour – The Cape Breton Post. h/t Jack Butler
A jury took 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58, his wife Tooba Yahya, 42, and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in a case so shocking it has riveted Canadians from coast to coast.
Even after the verdict was read, the three denied killing sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, Shafia as well as Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, their father’s childless first wife in a polygamous marriage.
Their bodies were found June 30, 2009, in a car submerged in a canal in Kingston, Ont., in a multiple murder the Crown asserted was to avenge the family’s outrage because the girls sought teenage freedoms agianst the will of their controlling father and brother.
As the verdicts were being read, Hamed put his head in his hands and hunched over while standing.
Soon, his mother Tooba started to cry.
When the judge asked if they each wanted to say anything, they one by one declared their innocence.
“We are not criminal, we are not murderer, we didn’t commit the murder and this is unjust,” Mohammad said through a translater.
His wife, Tooba, responded: “Your honourable justice, this is not just. I am not a murderer, and I am a mother, a mother.”
Their son said in English: “Sir, I did not drown my sisters anywhere.”
But the judge was unmoved, and spoke directly to the cultural cloud that has hung over the case since it began.
“You have each been convicted of the planned and deliberate murder of four members of your family…(A verdict) clearly supported by the evidence presented at this trial,” said Judge Robert Maranger.
“It is difficult to conceive of a more despicable, more heinous crime…the apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims offended your completely twisted concept of honour…that has absolutely no place in any civilized society.”
It’s not difficult to conceive if you pay attention to Islam. Under sharia law, killing your children is actually permitted – as noted in the most famous of books detailing Islamic sharia law – The Reliance of the Traveler which states among those not subject to retaliation for intentionally killing another human being:
4) “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring”
Throughout the judge’s statement, Hamed put his head in his hands, while at one point both his mother and father rubbed his back to console him.
The Crown theory was that Shafia, Yahya and Hamed drowned the four victims, placed their bodies in the car, then pushed it into the canal using the family’s other vehicle.
The defence had said it was an accident, that they had gone for a joy ride with Zainab driving and accidentally plunged into the canal with Hamed watching, although he didn’t call police.
First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Trouble in the wealthy Afghan-Canadian family had been brewing for some time, the Crown alleged.
The Crown painted a picture of a household controlled by a domineering Shafia, with Hamed keeping his sisters in line and doling out discipline when his father was away on frequent business trips to Dubai.
Some of the Shafia children followed the rules and the others didn’t. The ones who couldn’t be controlled, the Crown said, are now dead.
Rona was not treated much better than an unruly child, court heard. And all any of them wanted was freedom, the Crown said.
Zainab had run away, but that in itself shamed the family, so she was coaxed back with a promise to marry her boyfriend Ammar, the Crown said. The family viewed him as a loser and was not pleased with the relationship, but if she was married she would be Ammar’s problem, not theirs, and her behaviour couldn’t affect their honour.
Sahar too was dating, though she tried to keep her Christian boyfriend secret from her parents. Condoms were found in her room, as were pictures of her wearing short skirts and shorts, hugging her boyfriend. That clothing caused Shafia to curse Sahar as a whore after her death.
Two months before she was found in the canal, Sahar told her boyfriend’s aunt that if her parents found out about her relationship she was “a dead woman.”
Geeti was becoming almost impossible to control: skipping school, failing classes, being sent home for wearing revealing clothes and stealing. But her most egregious breach was telling almost every authority figure she encountered that she wanted to be sent to foster care, the Crown said.
There was a family code of silence and Geeti broke that, it was alleged. If the Shafias thought Zainab and Sahar were hard to control, Geeti would be their worst nightmare. For Geeti, the writing was on the wall, the Crown said.
Back posts on this horrendous crime here.