Justice is finally served to three cold hearted murderers.

From the Montreal Gazette...

KINGSTON, Ont. — Three members of a Montreal family have been imprisoned for life
after a jury found them guilty of murdering four other family members
in a crime the judge called “cold-blooded, shameful murders” based on a
“twisted notion of honour.”Mohammad Shafia, 58, his second wife
Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 42, and their son Hamed, 21, were each found
guilty of four counts of first-degree murder after a jury deliberated
for 15 hours. The verdicts came after a three-month-long trial that
heard from 58 witnesses.Hamed appeared to collapse onto the front
railing of the prisoner’s box as the verdicts were announced. His
father, standing next to him, put his hand on his shoulder and then on
top of his head. Yahya appeared to begin crying.“You have each
been convicted of the planned and deliberate murder of four members of
your family,” Judge Robert Maranger, of the Ontario Superior Court of
Justice said before he passed sentence. “It’s a verdict clearly
supported by the evidence presented at this trial. It is difficult to
conceive of a more despicable, more heinous crime.“There is
nothing more honourless than the deliberate murder of, in the case of
Mohammad Shafia, three of his daughters and his wife, in the case of
Tooba Yahya, three of her daughters and a stepmother to all her
children, in the case of Hamed Shafia three of sisters and a mother.“The
apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that
the four completely innocent victims offended your twisted notion of
honour, a notion of honour that is founded upon the domination and
control of women, a sick notion of honour that has absolutely no place
in any civilized society.”Maranger imposed the mandatory sentences of
life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

All three accused protested innocence when given a chance to speak in the courtroom.

“We are not criminal,” Shafia said, in a loud and clear voice. He spoke in
his native Dari and his words were interpreted. “We are not murderers.
We didn’t commit the murder and this is unjust.”Yahya also said the decision was unjust.

“I’m not a murderer and I’m a mother,” she said.

“Sir, I did not drown my sisters anywhere,” Hamed said in English.

One young female juror began to sob after the verdicts were announced.

Shafia sisters, Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, were found dead June 30,
2009, inside the family’s Nissan Sentra that was discovered submerged
at the bottom of the Rideau Canal at Kingston Mills, a lock station on
the Rideau Canal in eastern Ontario. Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, also was in
the car. She was Shafia’s first wife, whom he married in his native
Afghanistan before the polygamous family moved to Canada in 2007 and
settled in Montreal.All of the victims had drowned but examinations could not
pinpoint where and how they drowned.

The three-month long trial revealed that Shafia was enraged because he felt
his daughters had violated strict cultural rules about sexual modesty,
they dressed in revealing clothes and they were disobedient. Mohammad
wanted a divorce and supported the three girls in their pursuit of
western lifestyles. She and Yahya clashed frequently and Mohammad wrote,
in a diary entered as evidence, that she was abused, humiliated and
isolated. Lawyer Peter Kemp, who represents Shafia, said he had not yet
talked to his client about the possibility of an appeal.

“He was not convicted for what he did, he was convicted for what he said,”
Kemp said in an interview outside the courtroom, in a reference to
damning wiretap recordings played during the trial. On the recordings,
Shafia was overheard cursing his dead daughters as “whores,”
“prostitutes,” and “honourless girls.

”In one recording, Shafia said: “May the devil shit on their graves.”

Defence lawyer David Crowe, who represents Yahya, and defence lawyer Patrick
McCann, who represents Hamed, both said they believe their clients will
appeal.Crown lawyer Gerard Laarhuis said police and prosecutors are pleased with the verdicts.

“We want to thank the jury for their very real contribution to the
administration of justice,” he said, speaking to a crowd of reporters
and spectators on the front lawn of the courthouse. “Our community
should be very proud of the quality investigation done by the Kingston
police and police from various police organizations throughout Canada.
”He said this is a good day for Canadian justice, which protects the rights of all.

“It’s a very sad day because this jury found that four strong, vivacious and
freedom loving women were murdered by their own family in the most
troubling of circumstances.”As Laarhuis spoke, a man who was a witness
during the trial began to yell from the crowd.

“This is a lie!” shouted Moosa Hadi, a man who was hired by the defence team
as a translator but who ended up conducting a secret investigation for
Shafia. Hadi testified at the trial that he was certain the family was
innocent and that the victims died in an accident. Spectators began cheering
the police and prosecutors and shouted: “Well done.”

Laarhuis continued.
“We all think of these four wonderful women now who died needless deaths,”
he said. “This verdict sends a very clear message about our Canadian
values and the core principles in a free and democratic society that all
Canadians enjoy and even visitors to Canada enjoy.”Staff Sgt.
Chris Scott, the Kingston Police officer who headed the investigation,
thanked Laarhuis and co-prosecutor Laurie Lacelle for “an exceptional
job.”“They gave these victims a voice when they had none,” Scott said.

In a written statement, Scott said it has been a long and difficult case.

“All domestic and familial violence needs to be eradicated and this case
is a tragedy beyond measure,” Scott wrote.

It is not surprising that the seven-woman, five-man jury decided the Shafias were murderers.

During the trial, jurors heard six separate accounts of murder plots or fears
by the victims that they would be killed. Three times, from the mouths
of three different witnesses, jurors were told that Shafia spoke openly
and angrily of wanting to kill his daughter Zainab because of her
shameful behaviour. Two witnesses recounted Mohammad’s fears that he
would kill her.Most damning were the recollections of two of
Yahya’s relatives, her brother Fazil Javid and her paternal uncle Latif
Hyderi, who both said that Shafia spoke to them of wanting to kill his
oldest daughter Zainab because she had shamed him by running away from
home and marrying an unacceptable young Pakistani man, acts that made
her, in her father’s eyes, a “whore” and a “prostitute.”Javid,
who lives in Sweden, said Shafia tried to recruit him, in a telephone
call, to lure Zainab to Sweden, where she and her father and uncle and
other family members would go on a picnic near a river or ocean.
“He told me that we will put her in water and drown her,” Javid testified.

Shafia said that he received a phone call from Javid but insisted he hung up
because of long-standing enmity between the two men.“I did not even speak to Fazil,” Shafia testified dismissively, during the trial.

Hyderi, another transplanted Afghan who lives in Montreal, said he had a
telephone conversation with Shafia while Shafia was in Dubai. The call
followed chaotic weeks in the Shafia household. Zainab ran away from
home to a shelter for women, and then returned after her mother implored
her to come back. She married a young lover her family had warned her
was unacceptable. The union was annulled the day after the couple wed
because of outrage that the young man’s family failed to attend a
wedding celebration.Zainab told her day-old spouse that she could not stay
with him because the marriage had humiliated her family.

Shafia was in Dubai when the wedding took place and spoke to Hyderi afterwards by telephone.

“He said, ‘I’m not happy ... and she didn’t do a good thing, if I was there I would have killed her,’ ” Hyderi testified in November.In his testimony, Shafia acknowledged speaking to Hyderi but denied that he articulated his desire to see his daughter dead.

Diba Masoomi, a younger sister of Mohammad, testified that her sister told
her that she overheard a plot to kill Zainab and another family member.
Masoomi said her sister told her of the alarming discovery in a phone
call. Mohammad said she had been eavesdropping in the Shafia home when
she heard the plot being discussed.“Shafia was talking to Hamed
and Tooba, (saying), ‘I will go to Afghanistan, I will prepare the
passport, I will sell my property and then I will come and kill Zainab,’
” Masoomi testified. She said Rona told her that Shafia was upset and
angry.“He told that to Tooba, ‘If the girl doesn’t return, I will kill her because
she dishonoured me,’ ” Masoomi told jurors.

She said one of the other two people asked: “What about the other one?” and
Shafia replied, according to her account, “I will kill the other one
too.”Mohammad told her sister that she believed she was the “other one.”

Masoomi remains grief stricken in her recollection that she reassured her
sister that she was in Canada, not Afghanistan, and there was nothing to
fear.Fahima Vorgetts, a U.S.-based women’s rights activist and a
former Afghan, said Mohammad had told her in several phone calls that
she could not divorce her husband because of his deaths threats.“She
said if she leaves, her husband will kill her,” Vorgetts testified.
“She took it seriously because her husband told her he will kill her if
she leaves.Jurors also heard two pointed accounts of death threats
reported by Sahar and Geeti.

Sahar told her boyfriend’s aunt that she believed her parents would kill her
if they found out about her relationship with Ricardo Angel Sanchez, a
Honduran immigrant who lived in Montreal.“She told me that her
parents did not know about the relationship with Ricardo and the day
that her parents knew about the relationship with Ricardo she would be a
dead woman,” Erma Medina testified at the end of November. She said
Sahar repeated the claim several times.Jurors heard that Montreal
police officer Const. Anne-Marie Choquette, who was not available to
testify at the trial, recorded a conversation with Geeti Shafia in April
2009.“Geeti also told police that her father often threatened
that he was going to kill them,” prosecutor Laurie Lacelle said, reading
into the court record a statement from the officer.Geeti and
other Shafia children spoke to police in April 2009, roughly 10 weeks
before their deaths. They told officers they feared violence from their
father because their sister Zainab had run away from home. Geeti told
the police that a week earlier her father had pulled her hair and hit
her in the face. She said her brother Hamed punched her in the eye with
his fist. The assaults came after the children returned home at 9 p.m.,
after their curfew, from a trip to a shopping mall.

Once the Shafias complete their prison sentences, they are likely to be deported
to Afghanistan, according to a lawyer and former Canadian immigration
officer.Raj Sharma, who practices in a large Calgary law firm
that specializes in immigration cases, said the Canadian government
temporarily suspends removals to some countries where there are natural
disasters or war that put people at risk, but those provisions don’t
apply to the Shafias.“They would be removed to Afghanistan,”
Sharma said, in a telephone interview from Calgary. “The temporary
suspension of removals doesn’t help them.”He pointed to a section
of the Immigration Act that provides that anyone who is convicted of a
serious crime is not subject to the temporary suspensions.“We
deport people to Sudan and Somalia and other hellholes including Haiti
and we would deport to Afghanistan as well,” said Sharma, who also is an
advocate of tough punishment for honour crimes.His uncle was
murdered 21 years ago in a shocking triple slaying that appears to have
been the biggest honour killing on record in Canada, until now.“This
honour killing thing is kind of sensitive for me,” Sharma said. “These
sort of male oriented, patriarchal cultures are especially susceptible,
no matter how much they try to deny it or diminish it.

”In 1991, Daljit Singh Dulay killed his sister, Kulwinder Dulay, 20, her husband
Gurdawr Singh Dulay, 28, and Mukesh Kumar Sharma, 28, on a street in
downtown Calgary outside a video store where the couple worked. Daljit
Dulay was angry that his sister had eloped and secretly wed, without the
permission of her strict Sikh family. He was convicted of two counts of
first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder.Sharma
turned and ran after Dulay opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle but
Sharma was shot in the back. In 2007, Dulay was denied an opportunity to
seek early parole from prison, although psychiatric reports concluded
that he had renounced the culture of honour killings.Raj Sharma said he was
in Grade 8 at the time of the killings.

“I was in court watching this murder trial for two or three weeks and probably that’s why I became a lawyer,” he said.

Dulay acknowledged that because he was the son, “it fell to (him) to cleanse the family honour,” Sharma said.

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News
Read more: www.canada.com/news/canada-in-afghanistan/Shafia+jury+finds+


I haven't included a picture of the murderers...
I don't want to offend the memory of these four innocent women
with images of the scum who took their lives.