Wife and daughters died in 'honour killing', court told

  • @guyadams

An Afghan immigrant accused of murdering a wife and three teenage daughters in what prosecutors have called an "honour killing" told his alleged accomplices that the newly-deceased women were "filthy and rotten children," adding: "may God's fury descend upon those girls".

A court in Ontario yesterday heard a series of secret police tape recordings of 58-year-old Mohammad Shafia attempting to justify the brutal murder of his daughters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13. He described them as "treacherous" and said they deserved to die for having betrayed Islam.

Shafia, a Muslim who lived in a polygamous household, is accused of drowning the girls and their mother Rona, 50, the first of his two wives, in June 2009.

Their bodies were found in the family's saloon car, which had been submerged in the Rideau Canal, near the Canadian city of Kingston. Prosecutors believe Shafia conspired with his 20-year-old son, Hamed, and second wife, Tooba Yahya, 41, to use a second, larger vehicle to push their saloon car into the water, with its doors locked.

The motive for the alleged crime was Zainab's recent marriage to a Pakistani. Shafia did not approve of the relationship, and blamed Rona for it. He decided to also kill Zahar and Geeti because they had picked-up Western habits.

Recordings of conversations between Shafia, Hamed, and Tooba Yahya were played in court yesterday, adding a dramatic and sometimes gruesome detail to a story which has gripped Canada.