Canal trial hears Shafia say daughters were liars

The father accused in the deaths of his three teenage daughters and another woman told a police interrogator his children were liars, a Kingston, Ont. court heard Wednesday.
Tooba Mohammad Yahya and husband Mohammad Shafia and their son Hamed Mohammed Shafia are escorted by police officers into the Frontenac County courthouse on the first day of their trial in Kingston, Ont., in October. (Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick )

The father accused in the deaths of his three teenage daughters and another woman told a police interrogator his children were liars, a Kingston, Ont. court heard Wednesday.

Mohammad Shafia, 58, his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 41, and their son, Hamed Mohammad Shafia, 20, are each charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of three Shafia sisters, Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, as well as Rona Amir Mohammad, 50.

Shafia made the statement in a videotaped interrogation after he, his wife and son were arrested in July 2009.

In the video, Shafia denied killing the four victims or helping to kill them, saying his children were pure and sinless. Two minutes later he said his children were all liars except his son.

During his interrogation, Shafia said his daughters told Quebec youth protection services that he and Yahya beat them, but he didn't know why.

Before the videotaped interrogation was played, Yahya's brother Fazil Javad finshed his second day of testimony by telling the court he had weekly phone conversations with the accused to talk about the family crisis over the eldest daughter Zainab's plans to marry her boyfriend.

Javad also said he spoke to Zainab, who told him of alleged abuse at the hands of her father and control exercised by her brother.

Javad testified that Zainab told him that although she knew she wasn't ready, she had to get married to escape her home life and alleged abuse.