‘There used to be a presumption of innocence in this country but I don’t know what happened to it’
By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press Posted: Nov 06, 2014 5:22 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 06, 2014 5:22 PM ET
Criminal defence lawyers are dismayed that Immigration Minister Chris Alexander publicly branded a man charged with killing his wife a murderer before his trial.
Alexander brought up the case of Nasira Fazli this week as he talked publicly about the need for legislation to crack down on so-called “honour” killings and polygamy among immigrants.
“Not much more than one year ago, she was killed — 48 stab wounds — by her husband, Feraidon Mohammad Ibrahem, who had been in this country only for a few months, sponsored by her,” Alexander told a news conference at a women’s centre in west-end Toronto.
“While what he did is clearly a crime, among the gravest crimes that can be committed and that he is facing the full consequences of the law for murder, this was also a barbaric cultural practice in that he felt that he had been dishonoured by her ability to be independent.”
Alexander went on to say that “that kind of behaviour by any immigrant, by any Canadian, is unacceptable.”
Fazli, 31, of Ajax, Ont., was found stabbed to death in July 2013.
Ibrahem’s preliminary inquiry wrapped up last month and he has yet to stand trial for first-degree murder.