Three Denied New Trial
Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Yahya and a brother, Hamed were denied a request for a new trial by the Ontario Court of appeal. The three had been convicted of first-degree murder following the murders of four female family members in 2009.
Justice David Watt wrote the decision which was co-signed by two other Court of Appeal Justices. Watt wrote, “Charitably put, the evidence of guilt was overwhelming.” Their convictions were given in January, 2012 in which each received automatic sentences with no chance of parole for 25 years.
The couples’ three teenage daughters, along with Shafia’s first wife (and mother of the girls), were discovered in a car at the bottom of the Rideau Canal in Kingston, Ont. This resulted in the first-degree murder of the four women who had drowned as the car submerged in the water.
Last March, the family’s attorney argued that the trial judge should not have allowed the testimony of University of Toronto Prof. Shahrzad Mojab. They based this on the statements Mjojab made that honor killings are planned by fathers and the oldest sons. Often the mothers also help. The lawyers contended the information was prejudicial and “flat out prohibited.”
It was reported that the three women, and their stepmother, were basically held as captives in their own home. Family and friends said their life was very difficult living under the iron-fisted rule of the domineering father. They reported that his word was “law.” They say the brother acted as the eyes and ears while the mother displayed indifference to her daughters’ pleas and who was found to be a partner in the murders which resulted in shocking many Canadians.