The West

Polygamist killed family for honour, court told
Hamed Shafia and his father Mohammad Shafia leave the court house in Ontario.

An Afghan-Canadian businessman accused of killing his three teenage daughters and his first wife in an attempt to salvage the family's honour said he would do it again, a court has been told.

Montreal-based Mohammad Shafia, 58, his second wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 41, and their 20-year-old son Hamed are on trial after pleading not guilty to the first-degree murder of Mr Shafia's other family.

"Sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti Shafia, 13, and Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, were found dead in a Nissan Sentra submerged in a canal in Kingston on June 30, 2009," The Montreal Gazette reported.

"Rona was Shafia's first wife, whom he married in Afghanistan.

"Prosecutors allege that the murders were honour killings, designed to cleanse shame that Shafia felt the victims brought on the family."

Secret police recordings inside Mr Shafia's van over four days in July 2009 have been played to jurors in the Canadian court.

"They're gone now; sh*t on their graves," he told his wife and son.

The next day he said: "I am happy and my conscience is clear. They haven't done good and God punished them."

The jurors have heard recordings in which Mr Shafia complains that his daughters "were promiscuous, sinned and fornicated" and wore revealing clothes while with boyfriends, The Gazette reported.

On July 18, a police recording captured Mr Shafia saying: "Damn their boyfriends. To hell with them and their boyfriends - filthy and rotten children."

Mr Shafia was angered by photos of his daughters and told Mrs Yahya that there "was no other way" because the girls had "messed up" and betrayed Islam and the family.

"When I tell you to be patient, you tell me that it is hard," Mr Shafia told his wife, with whom he was in a clandestine polygamous marriage.

"It isn't harder than watching them every hour with (boyfriends).

"For this reason, whenever I see those pictures, I am consoled.

"I say to myself, 'You did well. Would they come back to life 100 times, for you to do the same again.'"

Days later, the family was arrested over the deaths.

"There is nothing more valuable than our honour," Mr Shafia said in the recordings.

"I am telling your mother that be like a man as you have always been.

"I know it hurts - don't worry at all, don't regret.

"There is no value of life without honour."

The Crown alleges the accused used their Lexus to push the other car with the victims still inside into the water, Canadian news channel CP24 said.

"Autopsies found that all four women drowned, but where and when has never been clear," The Globe and Mail reported.

"Three of the victims had fresh bruises on their heads, and police believe all were dead before the Nissan tipped into the water."

Mrs Mohammad, the first wife, joined the rest of Mr Shafia's family four months after they migrated to Canada in 2007, "ostensibly as Mr Shafia's cousin", The Globe and Mail said.

"[She] was murdered as the final act of a long-simmering rivalry between the two wives, prosecutors contend.

"Her diary paints a picture of misery in which she and the three dead sisters lived in a dysfunctional household marked by isolation and constant abuse at the hands of the three accused."

The jury has been shown a video of Hamed being interrogated by a police sergeant a few hours after the trio had been charged.

"The sergeant focuses on the return trip from Niagara Falls to Kingston, where the family stopped for the night [of the murder]," The Globe and Mail said.

"The three accused had told police that the four people later to be found drowned stayed behind in the Nissan, with Tooba Mohammad Yahya at the wheel.

"They parked somewhere nearby, it was said, while Mr Shafia, his son and the three youngest children [to his second wife] set off to find accommodation."

The West Australian

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