New Brunswick

Bari given life sentence for wife's murder

Abdul Bari of Fredericton is going to prison for at least 25 years for killing his estranged wife.

Abdul Bari of Fredericton is going to prison for at least 25 years for killing his estranged wife.

A jury has convicted Bari of first-degree murder in the beating death of Shaila Bari, a 26-year-old business student at the University of New Brunswick.

The victim and her husband were originally from Bangladesh and moved to Canada during the mid-1990s. The couple had been separated for at least two years at the time of Shaila Bari's death.

Police found Bari's badly beaten body in her apartment last July. Her friends had reported her missing. Eight months later, her husband was charged with her death.

Abdul Bari's younger sister Kaosar Jahan attended the sentencing and gave a tearful interview on the courthouse steps. "It's my brother. I love him. I care about him," she says. "He is, he was good man. Never was violent. I don't know what's happened."

The jury heard three weeks of testimony, translated into Bengali, and deliberated for nine hours before coming to a guilty verdict around 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Shortly after the verdict was read in court Monday evening, Bari began breathing rapidly and then appeared to have some kind of seizure.

He collapsed on the floor and convulsed, and could be heard repeating the phrase "everybody lie."

Court attendants called an ambulance and Bari was handcuffed to a stretcher then taken to hospital for an assessment.

At his sentencing on Tuesday, Bari appeared tired and dishevelled. He barely glanced sideways at Madame Justice Judy Clendenning as she pronounced the automatic life sentence, with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Bari waived his right to address the court and had nothing to say to reporters as he was being locked in the sherriff's van.

Shaila Bari was a business student at University of New Brunwick and worked part time at Fredericton laundry.

Witnesses told the court that her estranged husband was furious about the break-up of their marriage, and was angry that Bari was socializing with other people.

Bari's lawyers haven't decided whether to appeal.