TORONTO: Peer Mohammad Khairi, who almost decapitated wife, loses appeal

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By: Diana Mehta The Canadian Press, Published on Wed Apr 22 2015

Ontario’s highest court upheld the second-degree murder conviction of an Afghan immigrant who nearly decapitated his wife, calling the woman’s death a “horrific” killing in a decision released Wednesday.

Peer Mohammad Khairi, a father of six, had argued that the judge who presided over his trial made several errors, and asked the appeal court for a new trial.

If a fresh trial couldn’t be ordered, Khairi had asked that his period of parole ineligibility — currently set at 15 years after he was sentenced to life in prison — be lowered to 10 or 11 years.

He was turned down by Ontario’s Court of Appeal on both fronts.

“The conviction appeal is dismissed. While we grant leave to appeal the sentence, the sentence appeal is dismissed,” the court’s decision said.

Khairi had admitted to killing his wife in March 2008, it was the circumstances of the death that had been in dispute at his trial, the court noted.

“He contended that he lacked the intent for murder due to mental health issues. Alternatively, he claimed that he stabbed his wife in the heat of passion, caused by her allegedly provocative words and conduct,” the appeal court wrote.

A jury deliberated for three days in 2012 before finding Khairi guilty of second-degree murder.

In his appeal, Khairi argued that the trial judge erred by not declaring a mistrial after what was allegedly an “improper” opening statement from Crown prosecutors, whose effect was allegedly to prevent him from receiving a fair trial. He also claimed the prosecution’s closing address was inflammatory.

The appeal court agreed that the Crown’s opening statement was improper, but found that the trial judge adequately instructed the jury that the Crown’s remarks exceeded the scope of a proper opening statement.

(…)

Khairi, who was born in Afghanistan, immigrated to Canada with his wife and children in 2003 after having spent the previous 15 years in India.

The family settled in Toronto but due to the couple’s limited education and inability to speak English, neither of them could find work, court documents have noted.

In 2006, the family had financial troubles and the relationship between Khairi and his wife became strained, the documents said.

(…)

Surjit Dosanjh charged in Richmond arson that killed woman, left Kalvin Dosanjh-Leznoff critical

Son-in-law of Elaine Leznoff charged with second-degree murder

CBC News Posted: Apr 17, 2015 12:26 PM PT Last Updated: Apr 17, 2015 12:26 PM PT

Charges have been laid in a Richmond house fire that left 1 woman dead and a boy in critical condition.Charges have been laid in a Richmond house fire that left 1 woman dead and a boy in critical condition. (Shane MacKichan/CBC)

Second-degree murder charges have been laid against Surjit Dosanjh after a house fire in Richmond, B.C. left his mother-in-law dead and a 13-year-old boy in critical condition.

Elaine Leznoff, 66, died in the fire, which was declared an arson by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

IHIT said Friday that the injured boy, Kalvin Dosanjh-Leznoff, is not expected to live.

Dosanjh, 37. was estranged from his family earlier this month, and was not living at the home at the time of the fire.

Richmond firefighters were called to the home in the 10000 block of Cornerbrook Crescent around 2 a.m. PT April 13, after reports the home was engulfed in flames.

 

Marc Wabafiyebazu pleads not guilty to murder in Florida drug-related shootout

The Associated Press Posted: Apr 20, 2015 11:51 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 20, 2015 4:28 PM ET

The 15-year-old son of a Canadian diplomat has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in a Miami drug-related shootout that killed his older brother.

Marc Wabafiyebazu 20150408Marc Wabafiyebazu is the son of a Canadian diplomat who police say was involved in a drug-related shootout that killed his brother and another teenager. (Handout/Canadian Press)

The attorney for Marc Wabafiyebazu entered the plea Monday on his behalf to adult felony murder, attempted murder and other charges.

Wabafiyebazu waived his appearance in court. Circuit Judge Richard Hersch set a tentative July 20 trial date.

Wabafiyebazu is the son of Roxanne Dubé, the Canadian consul general in Miami. Her other son, Jean Wabafiyebazu, was fatally shot in the March 30 confrontation over a marijuana deal that also left 17-year-old Joshua Wright dead.

Two other young men also pleaded not guilty Monday in the case.

Police say the gunfire erupted after the Wabafiyebazu brothers tried to rob the drug dealers.

Liberal Leader David Swann unveil party’s five-point plan to improve lives of new Canadians

Liberals unveil five-point plan to improve lives of new Canadians

Published on: April 18, 2015
Last Updated: April 18, 2015 8:44 PM MDT

Liberal Leader David Swann unveiled his party’s five-point plan to improve the lives of new Canadians Saturday, April 18, 2015 in CalgaryTrevor Howell / Calgary Herald

The Alberta government is inadequately funding social agencies and programs aimed at helping immigrants successfully transition into Canadian society and the workforce, says Liberal Leader David Swann.

Swann unveiled his party’s five-point plan on Saturday that would bolster local immigration agencies, improve English language and jobs training, streamline the foreign credential review process, and add $25 million for settlement funding.

“We do not believe the PCs have done a good job in preparing and supporting new Canadians and helping them adequately to have their credentials, their training (and) their expertise recognized here,” Swann told roughly 50 supporters at a northeast Liberal campaign office.

Settlement agencies the provide essential services to newcomers lack the resources to adequately meet demand, Swann said.

 Further, he said the Liberals would increase funding to traditional and Internet English language training to unburden social agencies, teachers and help immigrants reach their full potential faster.

“It’s impossible to succeed in this culture without a strong basis in language learning,” Swann said. “We don’t see a strong commitment there by the Alberta government.”

The Tory government was criticized last month for slashing millions of dollars from specialty grants to school boards in the budget, including nearly $3 million from the ESL grant.

“Some people transition easily and in six months … some people are going to take longer,” Swann said. “The provincial government has to help people make whatever the transition timing is right for them and their families.”

thowell@calgaryherald.com

Linguistically handicapped Chinese investors in trouble

Lost in translation: The strange tale of two Chinese investors, their friends and a disappearing fortune

 | April 18, 2015 | Last Updated: Apr 18 12:31 AM ET
More from Adrian Humphreys | @AD_Humphreys
Chunxiang Yan, left and Zhenhua Wang celebrate their purchase of a 334-acre estate near Tweed, Ont., at a lavish banquet on Feb. 25, 2013.

FacebookChunxiang Yan, left and Zhenhua Wang celebrate their purchase of a 334-acre estate near Tweed, Ont., at a lavish banquet on Feb. 25, 2013.

Not too long ago, Chunxiang Yan and Zhenhua Wang were fêted by politicians, diplomats and business leaders at a seven-course banquet in Belleville, Ont., where the wealthy couple, recently arrived from China, was lauded as bold entrepreneurs for a plan to create a lavish resort on a 334-acre estate.

“They have big aspirations with ideas such as a golf course, spa, cottages and a winery,” the municipal economic development officer enthused to the local press.

“I really like this country, I extremely like Canada,” Yan, who was then living north of Toronto, told the gathering through a Chinese interpreter. “It is a beautiful land and I am planning, if all of you accept, I will be a permanent resident here.”

That was in 2013.

A year later, as Yan arrived at the York Regional Police headquarters to lodge a complaint against partners in that land deal, she was received not with plaudits but with warrants for the couple’s arrest.

In China, her husband Wang is wanted for an alleged fraud — involving between $180 million and $220 million from about 60,000 investors.

ccbtimes.ca

ccbtimes.caJessica Chen says she and her husband, Louie Szeto, are victims of a fraud by Chunxiang Yan and Zhenhua Wang.

Although facing no criminal charge in Canada, both have been in prison for immigration concerns since. From behind bars, they have waged a fierce fight against deportation and issued a blizzard of lawsuits.

Rather than being fugitive fraudsters, they claim, they are really victims of a massive manipulation in Canada, conned at every turn by supposed friends.

And then, they claim — when Yan, 49, and Wang, 50, realized they had been duped out of millions of dollars — they were ratted out to immigration authorities for false documents they had no idea were filed on their behalf, likely robbing of them of their ability to remain in Canada.

That claim is disputed by Yan and Wang’s nemesis as vociferously as it is made: “Those are all lies; that’s their revenges,” said Jessica Chen, who, along with her husband, Louie Szeto, is the couple’s former business associate.

(…)

“There is some evidence to support both sides of the allegations, which is the essence of a good lie,” said Detective Ward Taylor, a fraud squad investigator with York police.

(…)

———-

Wang was pitching an investment scheme at Hong Kong’s Kowloon Bay exhibition centre on March 6, 2012, when Louie Szeto met him.

The Legacy of Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of Canada’s First Asian City

 

South Vancouver, B.C. -Canada (Photo courtesy of Brad Salsberg)

South Vancouver, B.C. -Canada (Photo courtesy of Brad Salzberg)

The Legacy of Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of Canada’s First Asian City

By Brad Salzberg, April 2015

Sir John A. McDonald. Sir Wilfred Laurier. Two of the founders of our country, often referred to as “forefathers” of our nation. In modern Canada, however, we have forefathers of a different variety.

Take Richmond B. C. Mayor Malcolm Brodie. He is a forefather of a new variety. Richmond is known as the most Asian city outside of Asia. It is a Canadian municipality in which white Canadians are a minority, and it shows. Within Richmond’s business districts, Chinese languages dominate the billboards, store fronts and public advertising. Many do not include an English equivalent. When English is included, it often appears perfunctory, with Chinese characters dominating the messaging.

It’s an unusual phenomenon, and rather controversial. Community leaders, responding to community ​dissatisfaction, recently organized a public meeting to better understand public sentiment, and to hear from both proponents and detractors.

Mayor Brodie was in attendance, but refrained from making a formal statement. At issue is the method to resolve the conflict. Some local residents promote public education as a remedy, an expensive and time-consuming endeavour. Others call for passing a by-law, which another Richmond- ​Richmond Hill, Ontario- implemented several years back. Mayor Brodie, however, feels the by-law may be a violation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, though it is difficult to find the logic in his thinking, considering the existing Richmond Hill bylaw.