New trials are what Crown prosecutors will be pursuing Friday for a couple and their son convicted for murder.
Mohammed Shafia, his wife Tooba Yahya, and son Hamed were convicted on 4 counts of first degree murder in the deaths of the family’s daughters and Shafia’s first wife in 2012.
Lawyers of the three appeared in a Toronto court on Tuesday arriving with what they call “fresh evidence” and are contesting highly prejudicial testimony in their trial which tainted the killings.
Council for the defendants believe some prohibited evidence should not have been admitted.
The three daughters Zainab, Sahar, Geeti and Mohammad’s first wife in a polygamous marriage, 52 year old Rona Amir Mohammad were discovered by authorities in a car at the bottom of the Rideau Canal in Kingston in 2009.
The centre of the Crown’s case was the idea of “honor killings”. During their 2012 trial a judge described the killings as their “twisted concept of honour.”
Prosecutors worked off the premise that the girls “shamed” the family through dating and inappropriate behavior , and action was taken to restore family honour.
On the docket for Friday, arguments that an expert Crown witness who testified on the subject of honour killings should not have been allowed, and the question of Hamed’s legal age.
The lawyer for Hamed brought forward documents from Afghanistan which claim the son was only 17 years old at the time of the trial, and not 18. That means he should have been tried as a youth.
Lawyer Scott Hutchison says a certificate of live birth, which is equivalent to a birth certificate in Ontario was authenticated by a former RCMP expert. Crown lawyers dismiss the documents as unreliable.