TORONTO — Crown lawyers are asking Ontario's top court to reject an attempt by a man convicted in the murders of four family members to bring fresh evidence that he claims proves he was a minor at the time of the deaths.
Even if the court does accept the evidence, the Crown says there's no need to grant new trials for Hamed Shafia and his parents, who were all tried together for the murders of the couple's three daughters and another family member.
Shafia has asked the Ontario Court of Appeal to grant him a fresh trial in a youth court because of newly discovered documents that he says prove he was actually 17 and not 18 at the time of the offences.
But Crown lawyer Gillian Roberts calls the documents unreliable and says Shafia's trial itself was "fair, the verdict reliable and there's no reason to have another trial or trials for him and his parents.''
Hamed Mohammed Shafia is escorted by police officers into the Frontenac County courthouse in Kingston, Ont. on Jan. 18, 2012. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
She says if the court accepts that Hamed Shafia is a year younger than previously thought, he would be entitled to a new sentencing hearing, but there has been no miscarriage of justice in the case.
Shafia's age argument is being made while he and his parents all seek new trials, claiming jointly that their original one was tainted by "highly prejudicial'' testimony on so-called honour killings.
The three were convicted in 2012 of four counts of first-degree murder — killings the trial judge described as being motivated by their "twisted concept of honour.''
The Crown will be making its own arguments against the issues raised about the original trial later Friday.
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