Saturday, March 10, 2012

Guilty!


More than two years after the bodies of Rona, Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti Shafia were discovered, the four women won the justice they were deprived of while they were alive. On January 29, 2012, Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba, and their son Hamed were found guilty of murder before a packed courtroom in Kingston, Ontario. News media from across the globe were on hand to hear the verdict, as the trial attracted widespread interest due to the fact that the case against the Shafia family centered around the cultural practice of honour killings; something rarely experienced in contemporary North American society.

Mohammad, Tooba, and Hamed Shafia were each convicted of four counts of first-degree murder, punishable by automatic life sentences with no change of parole for 25 years.

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

Ontario Superior Court Judge Robert Maranger
"This jury found that four strong, vivacious and freedom-loving women were murdered by their own family in the most troubling of circumstances. We all think of these four, wonderful women now who died needless deaths. 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."

Crown prosecutor Gerard Larrhuis
“While I am pleased to see the verdict finding Mohammad Shafia, Hamed Shafia, Tooba Mohammad Yahya guilty of murder, we need also to be reminded of the four innocent lives that were taken, needlessly and senselessly, by their own family members. There is no place in our Canadian society, or anywhere around our world, where a horrendous murder such as this should not be completely and thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Kingston police Chief Stephen Tanner
“To say I am satisfied seems to fail to address this horrible tragedy — the fact that Rona, Zainab, Sahar and Geeti had their lives so violently taken from them; the fact that a family was ripped apart and a community shocked.”

Kingston police Insp. Brian Begbie

Mohammad, Tooba, and Hamed Shafia have all begun the process of appealing their convictions.

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