Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Closing Arguments Conclude in Shafia Trial after Delay Due to Bomb Threat: Arguments in Shafia Trial Finish after Threat

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Closing Arguments Conclude in Shafia Trial after Delay Due to Bomb Threat: Arguments in Shafia Trial Finish after Threat

Article excerpt

KINGSTON, Ont. - The evidence against three people accused of killing half their family over honour is "irrefutable," a Crown attorney told the jury in the case in closing arguments that lasted well into the evening after a bomb threat delayed proceedings earlier Thursday.

Crown attorney Laurie Lacelle told the jury hearing the Shafia family murder trial that Mohammad Shafia, 58, his wife Tooba Yahya, 42, and their son Hamed, 21, were each responsible for planning and carrying out four murders, executed to get rid of family members causing them dishonour.

"Shafia, Tooba and Hamed had decided that there was a diseased limb on their family tree," she said. "Their decision was to trim the diseased limb and prune the tree back to the good wood."

Lacelle urged the jury to find all three guilty in what the Crown has alleged is a quadruple honour killing of Shafia's three daughters and his other polygamous wife.

"You know this was not an accident -- it was murder," Lacelle said at the end of her lengthy address.

"They did what they each believed had to be done. Now it's your turn. Find them all guilty as charged. There is no other way."

The end of Lacelle's remarks to the weary jury came after 7 p.m., at the end of a long day, at the end of a long trial, which began Oct. 20.

Judge Robert Maranger will give the jury his final instructions Friday, and it's anticipated the case will be in their hands in the late afternoon.

To get his estimated five- or six-hour charge finished in one day court will convene early, at 9 a.m., and sit right through -- with some breaks -- until it is completed.

Maranger told the jury to have an extra cup of coffee or two in the morning.

"Thank you for your co-operation," he told them. "It was a weird day."

The courthouse in which the Shafia trial is taking place was evacuated just before court was about to start Thursday morning. While police would only say there was a ''security concern,'' a source told The Canadian Press the reason for the evacuation was a bomb threat. …

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