bc-101115-mukhtiar-panghali-court

Mukhtiar Panghali listens to the prosecutor during his trial in which he is charged with murdering his wife. ((CBC))

The trial of a former Surrey school teacher accused of killing his pregnant wife wrapped up at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster on Friday.

Mukhtiar Panghali is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Manjit Panghali and interfering with her remains four years ago, after the burned body of his 30-year-old wife was discovered on the beach near the Delta port five days after he reported her missing.

Defence lawyer Michael Tammen delivered his closing arguments in court on Friday as the victim's family listened intently.

Tammen told the court the Crown's theory is a series of inferences that only make sense if there is a presumption of guilt. He said there is no physical evidence to indicate what happened to the deceased and there are still a number of unanswered questions.

Tammen emphasized that the Crown's theory is based on circumstantial evidence. During the trial, the Crown introduced photo stills from a video showing a man whom witnesses identified as Panghali buying a lighter and a newspaper the night his wife disappeared.

The victim's family has been silent throughout the trial. They say family members will speak to the media once the verdict is delivered.

It is expected the judge will deliver a verdict on Jan. 14.