Poor Mohammad Shafia can’t catch a break. First, his first wife and daughters die in a tragic accident that just happens — pure coincidence! — to show all the signs of an Islamic honor killing, and now this, which won’t help his Poor Victimized Man of Peace act one bit.
The Shafia family murder trial in Kingston, Ont. is expected to resume Thursday afternoon with increased security after a bomb scare shut down proceedings earlier in the day.
People have started returning to the courthouse but police procedures, including checking for photo identification and using metal detectors, have made for long waits.
There is only one entry point into the building now.
Earlier Thursday, journalists and spectators who had lined up hours before court was scheduled to begin were suddenly told by police they had to leave and court would resume in the afternoon.
Police would only say there was a “security concern,” but a source told The Canadian Press that a bomb threat prompted the evacuation.
“I can neither confirm nor deny in regards to specifically a bomb, but we are just stating at this point in time it is a security concern,” Const. Steve Koopman told The Canadian Press. “As you can see we’re taking it extremely seriously.”
Mohammad Shafia, 58, his wife Tooba Yahya, 42, and their son Hamed, 21, have each pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder.
They were evacuated from the courthouse Thursday in a police prisoner vehicle.
Koopman couldn’t say if the security threat was directly related to the Shafia trial.
The trio is accused of killing teenage Shafia daughters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, as well as Shafia’s first wife in his polygamous marriage.
The Crown began its final arguments on Wednesday and was expected to wrap up Thursday. It isn’t clear whether jury deliberations will still begin on Friday, as originally scheduled.
Three defence lawyers presented their final arguments Tuesday and Wednesday.
The bodies of the four were found in June 2009 in a car at the bottom of a canal in Kingston.
The Montreal family had stopped in Kingston on their way back from a trip to Niagara Falls, Ont.
The Crown has alleged that the girls were murdered by their father, his wife and their brother, and that the killing was then made to look like an accident after the fact.
The Crown’s argument is built on the premise that the girls broke the family’s moral code and dishonoured their family by wearing clothing that was not conservative and having secret boyfriends.
“Not conservative” is media-speak for “not Islamic.” In the media’s world, “conservatives” are those who uphold Sharia, and also those who oppose it.
The defence, however, calls the argument preposterous and said the deaths were the result of a tragic accident.
Yeah, and the bomb threat was actually just a harmless movie review. Nothing to see here. Move along.