Ontario’s Court of Appeal have denied the Shafia family a reprieve in a murder case which saw three daughters and a former wife parish at the bottom of the Rideau Canal in Kingston.
Father Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Yahya, and son Hamed were hoping to spur on another trial to have first degree murder convictions overturned claiming that some of the evidence in the initial trial was prejudiced.
The provinces appellate court did not agree that the case was “tainted” by testimony from a University of Toronto professor introducing the concept of “honour killings”.
Additionally the defense contested Hamed Shafia’s age at the time of the murders claiming he was 17 and not an adult due to conflicting records brought forth by authorities, but the court rejected that claim.
The three Shafias were given sentences of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years in the original trial.
Evidence proved the Nissan Sentra occupied by daughters Zainab (19), Sahar (17), and Geeti (13) plus Mohammad Shafia’s first wife, Rona Amir Mohammad (52) could not have fallen into the Rideau Canal on its own and must have been pushed in by another vehicle.
Another key piece of damning evidence were wiretap conversations in which Mohammed was disgusted by his daughters’ behaviour which he believed was tarnishing the family’s honour.
The trial in 2012 garnered international coverage as testimony was heard from teachers, child protection workers and police who recounted reports from the daughters who feared for their safety.