MONTREAL – Tooba Mohammad Yahya of St. Léonard has been committed to stand trial, likely in 2011, on four charges of first-degree murder as well as four counts of conspiracy in connection with the deaths of four female family members found in a submerged car last June 30 in the Rideau Canal.
The victims were her three teenage daughters and a 50-year-old woman.
Mohammad’s lawyer, David Crowe, acknowledged Wednesday in a courtroom in Kingston, Ont., that enough evidence has been presented at a preliminary inquiry for the 40-year-old woman to go to a full trial, according to a report in the Kingston Whig-Standard.
The inquiry continues. Attempts to reach Crowe directly failed Thursday.
Crowe issued the concession after Justice Stephen Hunter ruled a key element of evidence submitted by the Crown was admissible, the Kingston paper added.
Two other family members – Mohammad’s 56-year-old husband, Mohammad Shafia, along with their 19-year-old son, Hamed Mohammad Shafia – had made a similar legal concession earlier.
The inquiry is expected to continue to review evidence, presented by prosecutor Gerard Laarhuis, in connection with the case for much of the rest of this month.
However, details are subject to a broad publication ban in the event that jury trials are held.
The four women found lifeless in an underwater Nissan Sentra near the Kingston Mills Locks: sisters Zainab, 19, Sahari, 17, and Geeti, 13, and Rona Amir Mohammad, who was Mohammad Shafia’s first wife.
The family is of Afghani origin but had lived in Dubai for many years before establishing their home in St. Léonard, on the northeastern part of Montreal Island, in 2007.
The victims and the accused had been returning to Montreal from a visit to Niagara Falls.
Relatives of the husband’s first wife have contended that the deaths were so-called honour killings, or slayings for what is deemed immoral behaviour.