Sunday, November 20, 2011
You can take Islam out of the Levant but....
As Mohammad Shafia said prophetically — this as he and his son were discussing for the zillionth time what evidence the police might or might not have against them — "Everything will be clear at court."
Shafia, his second wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya and their oldest son Hamed may not have been the sharpest knives in the drawer — even after their arrests on July 22, 2009, as they sat in a police car waiting to be driven from Montreal to Kingston, they couldn't keep their lips zipped — but they surely rank among the cruelest.
Once, for instance, Yahya appeared to be minimally ruing the deaths of her two youngest daughters, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13.
"I know Zainab was already done," she said flatly of the 19-year-old who had run away two months before her death, "but I wish two others weren't."
That mild hint of regret or self-doubt launched Shafia into one of his most vicious screeds.
"No, Tooba, they were treacherous," he snapped.
"They were treacherous. They betrayed both themselves and us. Like this woman standing on the side of the road and if you stop the car, she would go with you anywhere."
To his wife's complaint that it was hard, he said, "It isn't harder than watching them every hour with lunda (a Dari expression for lover). For that reason whenever I see those pictures (cellphone shots the dead girls took of themselves in underwear or with their boyfriends), I am consoled. I say to myself, 'You did well.' Would they come back to life a hundred times, for you to do the same again."
The trio are now on trial in the drowning deaths of four of their own: Shafia's first wife Rona Mohammad Amir, 52 — who lived in a polygamous marriage with the couple and who was barely mentioned by the family, as befitting the collateral baggage it appears she was — and the three teenage girls.
Monday, Ontario Superior Court Robert Maranger and a jury listened to police wiretaps of the trio's conversations in the days leading up to and including the day of their arrests.
Only relevant intercepts, as they are formally called, were played, apparently from many hours of wiretaps.
They were played and entered as exhibits with the consent of defence counsel.