The jury in a second-degree murder trial listened to the accused's 911 emergency call on Tuesday, placed in broken English and Hindi, while his wife lay bleeding from a fatal knife attack four years ago in their west-end Toronto home.
Peer Khairi, who stands accused of slashing his wife Randjida in the throat in March 2008, can be heard in the recording speaking with both a 911 dispatcher and a Hindi interpreter on the other line.
"Can you ask this person if this person needs police, fire or ambulance and what the emergency is?" the operator asks the Hindi-speaking colleague.
"Someone has been murdered in my house or place," the translator tells the dispatcher. "Please call the police."
The call lasted nearly half an hour. But Khairi, who is 65, never clearly explains what happened in the phone conversation, despite the operator's attempts to draw out details.
"OK, who murdered his wife?" the operator asks, before the translator repeats the question to Khairi in Hindi.
Concern about Western lifestyle
"I can't tell it over the phone. I'll tell to the officer," Khairi answers, according to the interpreter.
Khairi has pleaded not guilty.
The Crown plans to argue that Randjida Khairi, 53, was killed for opposing her husband, who objected to how his children were dressing and who they socialized with.
The couple had been married for about three decades and their children were grown.
But the Crown said it will contend that Khairi lost his temper, feeling that his family had strayed too far from their Afghan Muslim background.
In the recording played in court on Tuesday, the operator asks: "Is his wife, is she there, is she awake?" And later, "Is his wife alive?"
Khairi answers in Hindi, "No madam, my wife and me alone."
Randjida Khairi was already dead by the time police arrived. Reports said the wounds to her neck were so deep, they nearly reached her spine and that she had been planning to leave her husband when she was attacked.