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calendar   Monday - January 30, 2012

Pity, No Rope In Canada

Canadian Jury: Whole Damn Family Guilty Of Honor Killing Murders

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A jury on Sunday found three members of an Afghan family guilty of killing three teenage sisters and another woman in what the judge described as “cold-blooded, shameful murders” resulting from a “twisted concept of honor,” ending a case that shocked and riveted Canadians.

Prosecutors said the defendants allegedly killed the three teenage sisters because they dishonored the family by defying its disciplinarian rules on dress, dating, socializing and using the Internet.

The 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. First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

After the verdict was read, the three defendants again declared their innocence in the killings of sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar 17, and Geeti, 13, as well as Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, Shafia’s childless first wife in a polygamous marriage.

Their bodies were found June 30, 2009, in a car submerged in a canal in Kingston, Ontario, where the family had stopped for the night on their way home to Montreal from Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The prosecution alleged it was a case of premeditated murder, staged to look like an accident after it was carried out. Prosecutors said the defendants drowned their victims elsewhere on the site, placed their bodies in the car and pushed it into the canal.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Robert Maranger said the evidence clearly supported the conviction.

“It is difficult to conceive of a more heinous, more despicable, more honorless crime,” Maranger said. “The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims offended your completely twisted concept of honor ... that has absolutely no place in any civilized society.”

The prosecution 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.

The months leading up to the deaths were not happy ones in the Shafia household, according to evidence presented at trial. Zainab, the oldest daughter, was forbidden to attend school for a year because she had a young Pakistani-Canadian boyfriend, and she fled to a shelter, terrified of her father, the court was told.

The prosecution said her parents found condoms in Sahar’s room as well as photos of her wearing short skirts and hugging her Christian boyfriend, a relationship she had kept secret. Geeti was becoming almost impossible to control: skipping school, failing classes, being sent home for wearing revealing clothes and stealing, while declaring to authority figures that she wanted to be placed in foster care, according to the prosecution.

Shafia’s first wife wrote in a diary that her husband beat her and “made life a torture,” while his second wife called her a servant.

The prosecution presented wire taps and mobile phone records from the Shafia family in court to support their honor killing allegation. The wiretaps, which capture Shafia spewing vitriol about his dead daughters, calling them treacherous and whores and invoking the devil to defecate on their graves, were a focal point of the trial.

“There can be no betrayal, no treachery, no violation more than this,” Shafia said on one recording. “Even if they hoist me up onto the gallows ... nothing is more dear to me than my honor.”

Hold on, wait a second ... Ontario Child Protective Services had the house wired, and were collecting evidence that these girls were in a dangerous, abusive situation, and did nothing to stop it??? What the flickity flock, eh? It never ceases to amaze me when I hear yet another story about government child welfare folks who step in when they shouldn’t, and don’t when they should have. Bass-ackwards, all the time. Given those recorded rants, how could they NOT act? These girls should be alive today; I’d say the social services people share partly in the blame. If they suspend kids from school for making finger guns and saying “kapow kapow” at recess, then these folks should also serve time in jail.

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Meanwhile, at CNN, the same story is tilted to focus on the tale that the convicted are planning to appeal. Hmm, that kind of shows you where their sympathies lie, doesn’t it? Dhimmi corksnockers. Oooh, scare quotes too, just to emphasize that CNN feels that this is a miscarriage of justice?

Family plans to appeal convictions in ‘honor murders’

Kingston, Ontario (CNN)—Three members of an Afghan immigrant family, who were found guilty of murder in what the judge called “a completely twisted concept of honor,” intend to appeal their convictions.

...

In taking the stand, Shafia swore to tell the truth on the Quran and he again invoked the holy book to say Islam does not condone killing people to preserve a family’s honor.

...

Shafia and his lawyers tried to explain that his shocking words are traditional expressions in Dari that should not be translated literally. But the jury also heard from an expert witness on honor murders—a term CNN is using in the interest of clarity rather than the more common “honor killings” because the latter phrase does not properly describe the alleged crime.

The cultural battle lines are drawn, and CNN is not on our side. Like you didn’t already know that.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/30/2012 at 07:45 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeRoPMA •  
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