Hamed Shafia, convicted of family murders, was 17, not 18, lawyer argues

TORONTO -- The lawyer for a man who, along with his parents, was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of four family members, is arguing his client was a youth at the time of the offences and deserves a new trial.

See Full Article

Hamed Shafia's lawyer is asking Ontario's top court to admit fresh evidence which he says proves the man was in fact 17 and not 18 and a half when his relatives were found dead, and should not have been tried by an adult court.

Shafia and his parents were convicted in January 2012 of four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, and his father's first wife in a polygamous marriage, 52-year-old Rona Amir Mohammad.

The victims' bodies were found on June 30, 2009, in a car at the bottom of the Rideau Canal in Kingston, Ont.

The Crown at the trial asserted the murders were committed after the girls "shamed" the family by dating and acting out, and Amir Mohammad was simply disposed of.

Hamed Shafia's lawyer Scott Hutchison says three documents from Afghanistan -- where his client was born -- have been discovered since the trial which throws Shafia's actual age into doubt.

Those documents are a "tazkira" or Afghan identity document, a certificate of live birth, and a document which confirms the tazkira.

He is asking the court to also be mindful of a "casualness" associated with birth dates in Afghan and Middle Eastern communities.

"We have evidence that is reasonably capable of belief," he told a panel of three judges at the Ontario Court of Appeal. "In my submission you must give effect to the fresh evidence, set aside the conviction and order a new trial."

Hutchinson is making his arguments ahead of an appeal being made by Shafia and his parents which asks for a new trial.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • North Korea reported to have fired missile, possibly landing in sea off Japan

    World News CBC News
    Japan's prime minister says North Korea has fired what is believed to be a missile and it may have landed in the sea off Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that officials are analyzing the apparent launch and that he has called a meeting of the National Security Council. Source
  • Canada's longest-standing First Nations boil water advisory will end in 2018, Liberals say

    Canada News CBC News
    The Liberal government says it will spend nearly $9 million to upgrade, renovate and improve the water plant in Neskantaga First Nation, a northern Ontario community that has been without safe tap water since 1995. Indigenous Affairs and Northern Affairs provided the financial details of the plan on Thursday. Source
  • Tennessee judge pulls vasectomy for reduced jail time offer after backlash

    World News Toronto Sun
    A judge in central Tennessee has withdrawn a controversial order offering reduced jail time to inmates who volunteer for sterilization procedures after the plan drew a wave of criticism from health officials, prosecutors and civil rights attorneys. Source
  • Man imprisoned for 36 years rewarded new trial by high court

    World News Toronto Sun
    BOSTON — A Massachusetts man who won a new trial after spending 36 years in prison for a murder he says he did not commit has earned another legal victory. In a decision released Thursday, the state’s highest court rejected a request by prosecutors to reinstate Frederick Weichel’s conviction. Source
  • Ex-Nazi squad member stripped of citizenship again

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A lawyer for a former Nazi death squad member says the Canadian government has once again stripped the 93-year-old man of his citizenship. Ronald Poulton says it is the fourth time the government has taken the step against Helmut Oberlander, and the Waterloo, Ont. Source
  • Seniors separated after decades of marriage 'desperate' to live together again

    Canada News CTV News
    Lorraine and Joe Papp have been married for 62 years, but for nearly the past two years they’ve been living under different roofs. Three years ago, the pair from Maple Ridge, B.C. moved into the assisted living facility Royal Crescent Gardens. Source
  • 5th border crosser this week dies crossing Rio Grande

    World News Toronto Sun
    EL PASO, Texas — A fifth person has died this week in the El Paso area after being pulled from the Rio Grande while attempting to cross from Mexico. U.S. Border Patrol agents were conducting a river patrol Thursday with Mexican law enforcement officials when the body of a man believed to be in his 30s was found. Source
  • Man says wife 'would not stop laughing' at him before allegedly killing her

    World News Toronto Sun
    Murder is no laughing matter. Witnesses aboard an Alaskan cruise ship said a man told them his wife “would not stop laughing at me” before he dragged her lifeless body towards the vessel's balcony to throw her overboard. Source
  • 83-year-old woman and 63-year-old son charged in murder-for-hire plot

    World News Toronto Sun
    PLAINFIELD, N.H. — An 83-year-old New Hampshire woman and her 63-year-old son have been charged in a murder-for-hire plot. Pauline Chase and Maurice Temple were arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit murder and attempt to commit murder. Source
  • Woman attacked husband with axe as children fled: Cops

    World News Toronto Sun
    KITTANNING, Pa. — Police say a Pennsylvania woman attacked her husband with an axe as their terrified children fled their home and called for help. Manor Township police say 41-year-old Melanie Sue Snyder was calm and emotionless as they found her walking up the street with a blood-stained T-shirt that read, “Nope, not today,” shortly after the attack Thursday night. Source