Calgary

$4,000 drug debt motive for kidnapping and murder of Calgary man, says Crown

The body of Mohammad Saqib, 33, was found in the trunk of a car that had been set on fire in September 2015 on a rural road near Airdrie.

Saad Osman and brothers Julius and Theo Wheyee are each charged with 2nd-degree murder

Mohammed Saqib's body was found in the trunk of a burned-out car in September 2015. The trial began Monday for the three men accused of his murder. (RCMP)

A $4,000 drug debt was the motive for the kidnapping and murder of a Calgary man, a judge has heard as the trial got underway Monday for three people accused of luring and killing the victim.

The body of Mohammad Saqib, 33, was found in the trunk of a car that had been set on fire in September 2015 on a rural road near Airdrie.

Saad Osman and brothers Julius and Theo Wheyee are each charged with second-degree murder.

On Monday, prosecutor Doug Taylor outlined the Crown's theory in the case and some of the evidence that he says will be called throughout the trial.

"Osman himself told police that he had given [Saqib] $4,000 for cocaine," said Taylor.

For four days after the loan, Saqib fell out of contact with Osman, who, according to Taylor, "was not happy."

Days later, when Saqib finally made contact with Osman, the trio lured the victim to a home where they "forcibly seized" him and "took him against his will" to the Wheyee brothers' home, the Crown suggests.

Witnesses will testify about events that took place in the laundry room at that home in the early morning hours of Sept. 18, 2015. 

Saqib shot 3 times

Hours later, around 7 a.m., police and firefighters were called to a rural road northeast of Airdrie where the car Saqib had been driving was on fire. 

Saqib's body was discovered in the trunk. He had suffered three gunshot wounds, two broken ribs and other bruising. 

The last number in the call history of a cellphone found beside the burned-out car belonged to Osman's girlfriend.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Karen Horner is presiding over the judge-alone trial, which is set to last two weeks.

The Wheyee brothers are being represented by defence lawyers Adriano Iovinelli, Tonii Roulston and Andrea Urquhart.

Osman does not have have a lawyer and is representing himself.

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.