Shafia trio seeking new trial at appeal court

TORONTO - The Crown is expected to argue today against new trials for a father, mother and son, who were convicted of murdering the couple's three daughters and another family member.

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Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Yahya and their son Hamed have asked Ontario's highest court for new trials, arguing the original one was tainted by "highly prejudicial" testimony on so-called honour killings.

The three were convicted in 2012 of four counts of first-degree murder -- killings the trial judge described as being motivated by their "twisted concept of honour."

Their lawyers say the trial judge made a number of errors, including allowing testimony from a Crown expert on so-called honour killings -- arguing such evidence is "flat out prohibited."

The bodies of Shafia and Yahya's daughters -- Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13 -- and Shafia's first wife in a polygamous marriage, 52-year-old Rona Amir Mohammad, were found in a car at the bottom of the Rideau Canal in Kingston, Ont., in June 2009.

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.



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