Imprisoned honour killer Mohammad Shafia (inset) might finally have the cash he needs to pay his outstanding legal bills. Shafia, who was convicted in January 2012 of murdering four family members has finally sold a commercial strip mall he owned in Montreal, according to a Quebec-based business newspaper. Les Affaires says Shafia sold the mall to businessman Bao Hua Xiang for $2.4 million. The deal follows a disputed agreement to sell the property to another businessman for $2.25 million.
The buyer has agreed to give up on efforts to finalize the deal at the lower price, according to a lawyer quoted by the newspaper.
“The buyer, though convinced of his right, has preferred to settle by paying a slightly higher price agreement yet reached, to avoid charges, fees, risks and delays,” said his lawyer, Alain Mongeau. “He nevertheless remains convinced that it is a good deal and wants to turn the page of this unfortunate incident.”
Shafia also had another buyer on the hook previously and, when that deal collapsed in a dispute over price, a lawsuit was filed by the would-be purchaser. According to Les Affaires, that dispute has been resolved.
The deal might finally give Shafia the cash he needs to pay three criminal defence lawyers who defended him and his wife and son against murder charges. Sources tell me that lawyers Peter Kemp, who represented Shafia, David Crowe, who represented Shafia’s second wife Tooba Yahya and Patrick McCann, who represented Shafia’s son Hamed, are still owed substantial amounts of money for the work they did defending the trio. Shafia is paying the tab for all three lawyers. Shafia, Tooba and Hamed were each convicted on January 29, 2012 of four counts of first-degree murder. Shafia’s daughters, Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, Geeti, 13 and his first wife in a secret polygamous family, Rona Amir, 50, were found dead June 30, 2009, inside a car discovered at the bottom the Rideau Canal in Kingston, in eastern Ontario. Prosecutors established at the trial that Shafia orchestrated the mass honour killing in a bid to restore his family’s tarnished honour. He believed the girls and Rona had shamed him through disobedience and promiscuous behaviour.
The three have maintained their innocence and claim that the victims died in a joyride that ended tragically when Zainab drove the car into the canal. They have appealed and the lawyers representing them are now completing a document that will set out the grounds of appeal in detail. Once the document, a factum, is filed with the Court of Appeal for Ontario, a date will be set for a hearing.