Nearly 10 years after Afghan native Mohammad Shafia brought his 10-member family to Canada, Ontario’s top court ruled that the controlling and abusive father got a fair trial when he was convicted, along with his second wife and eldest son, of murdering four family members. Shafia, his wife Tooba and son Hamed were not victims of prejudice and are not entitled to new trials, the Court of Appeal for Ontario says, in a judgment released today (Nov. 2, 2016). The three were each convicted in January 2012 of four counts of first-degree murder. Sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, Geeti 13 and Rona Amir, 50, who was Shafia’s first wife in the polygamous family, were found dead June 30, 2009, inside a sunken car resting at the bottom of a shallow canal in Kingston, in eastern Ontario.
I’m not surprised that Kingston criminal lawyer David Crowe (inset) has sued convicted mass honour killer Mohammad Shafia. Crowe claims in a civil lawsuit that Shafia agreed to pay the trial legal bill of his accomplice/killer/wife Tooba and has now reneged on final payment. Crowe represented Tooba during the trial. Sources tell me that Crowe has been complaining for more than a year that he was never paid in full for his work on the trial. Maclean’s reporter Michael Friscolanti has this excellent story about the legal action. I’m not surprised, given what many people told me after I began covering the case in 2009 – that Shafia was a wealthy but incredibly stingy man who worshipped money. My book on the case, Without Honour, includes revelations you won’t find elsewhere about the depths of millionaire Shafia’s tightfistedness – such as his insistence in staying in cheap hotels and eating at discount restaurants during a lengthy business trip to China. One lawyer I spoke to who had dealings with Shafia noted that: “It’s one thing to have lots of money, but parting with it is another matter.”
A tentative start date was set today for what is expected to be a sensational, marathon murder trial in Kingston, Ontario. Three members of a Montreal family, Mohammad Shafia, 57 (inset), his wife Tooba, 41, and his son Hamed, 20, will go on trial beginning Oct. 11 this year. Each is charged with four counts of first-degree murder. They are charged with killing four other family members, including three teenage Shafia sisters, who were discovered dead inside a car that was found June 30, 2009, submerged in a shallow canal in Kingston .
A Montreal mother, father and son accused of mass murder will today (Friday, Oct. 22) complete the final step in a 15-month legal process leading to what is expected to be a sensational three-month trial. Pre-trial motion hearings will conclude roughly one week earlier than expected. They began Oct. 5. The hearings allowed lawyers to seek orders from a judge about the admissibility of some evidence and to argue about the relevance of allowing some witnesses to appear at the trial.
Three members of a family from Montreal accused of killing four other family members made their first appearance in court in months Tuesday in Kingston, Ontario. The accused mass murderers, who are originally from Afghanistan, appeared in good spirits and healthy as they emerged from a prisoner transportation van outside the Kingston courthouse and were led, in shackles, into the basement of the building. For the first time, one of the accused killers spoke to media, although briefly. I captured the short exchange on video (available after the jump) as Mohammad Shafia asked a question.
More than a year after three girls and a woman were found dead inside a car submerged in the Rideau Canal, a Kingston, Ontario, courtroom has been converted into a high-tech legal battleground. Lawyers will square off this week in Courtroom A of the superior courthouse as the murder case against three members of a Montreal family begins a key phase. Lawyers will begin arguing pre-trial motions.
Among Quinte’s quintet of accused multiple murderers, Col. Russ Williams (above left) appears to be making a concerted effort to have his day in court first. Williams, the former Canadian military airbase commander accused of two murders, two sexual assaults and dozens of other crimes, waived his right to a preliminary hearing during a court appearance yesterday, clearing the way for the setting of a trial date.