KINGSTON, Ont. – A teenage Montreal girl who was allegedly murdered,
along with two sisters and her stepmother, by her brother and parents,
warned a suitor at school that her brother could not know about their
“Let me explain the rules of my friendship. First, be
aware of my bro, then if (you) sometimes wanna talk, come in the
library, and if my brother is around, act like complete strangers,”
Zainab Shafia wrote in an email sent Feb. 16, 2008, to the young man.
Two days earlier, he had sent her a card on Valentine’s Day, expressing romantic interest.
Zainab’s brother Hamed attended the same school.
witness dated and later married Zainab, although their union was
annulled one day after the wedding. His name cannot be published because
of a court order that protects his identity until he completes his
testimony at the murder trial of Mohammad Shafia, 58, Tooba Mohammad
Yahya, 41, and their son Hamed Shafia, 20.
The three are accused
of murdering Zainab, 19, her sisters, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, and Rona
Amir Mohammad, 52, who was Shafia’s first wife. All three defendants
have pleaded not guilty.
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The victims were found dead on June 30, 2009, inside a car submerged in the Rideau Canal.
allege the incident was an honour killing, orchestrated by the father
because he was angry over the conduct of the victims, particularly
Zainab, and because he believed they had shamed him and their family.
Zainab’s suitor was on the witness stand for just five minutes Monday morning before the trial adjourned.
read from a document handed to him by crown lawyer Laurie Lacelle. The
witness said the document included the text of Zainab’s first email to
him in 2008.
In it, she thanked the young man for the valentine
and explained that she would call him while they were at school, using a
“I don’t want to give (Hamed) the slightest idea that we’re friends,” she wrote.
lawyer Patrick McCann, who represents Hamed Shafia, rose to express
concern about the document that was being tendered as an exhibit.
document, your honour, was produced for the first time this morning,”
McCann said. “It’s not been covered by any ruling with respect to
admissibility of hearsay and I’m not sure how that is being filed at
Lacelle asked that the jury be excused.
Discussions that took place in the absence of the jurors cannot be reported.
The trial then adjourned for lunch.