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Closing arguments begin in Shafia trial tomorrow

By Katrina Geenevasen

Closing arguments in the Shafia murder trial are set to begin Tuesday after being delayed one day.

Justice Robert Maranger is working on his final charge to the jury and listening to input from the Crown.

Lawyers representing Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba and their son Hamed  will begin the closing statements, followed by the Crown.

The submissions are expected to last two days, followed by the judge’s charges to the jury.

The fate of the three accused will then lie in the hands of 12 jury members, who will have to decide whether or not hundreds of pieces of evidence prove the accused are guilty, as prosecutors are arguing, or if they are innocent.

Over the course of the trial, jurors have watched hours of videotaped statements of the accused, secret wiretap recordings and audio recordings.

While the jurors are sequestered, they will review 162 exhibits. These include transcripts, photographs, and more than a dozen reports from medical, scientific and technical experts.

The three accused have each pleaded not guilty to four counts of first degree murder in the deaths of Shafia sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, along with Rona Amir Mohammad Shafia, 54. Rona was Shafia’s first wife.

The victims were found dead in a submerged car at the bottom of a canal in Kingston in June 2009. They were drowned, but doctors and scientists were not able to determine where or how.

The closing arguments are expected to last two days.