Hamed Shafia, who killed his three sisters and a relative in an honor killing in 2009, had indicated he was a minor at the relevant time and therefore should not have been tried as an adult.
After more than four years behind bars, the young man said he received the new Afghan civil status documents to prove that he was born a year later than previously thought before: in December 1991 rather than December 1990.
If we are to believe these new documents, so he was 17 at the time of the crime, rather than 18 years.
The National Post, which revealed the affair, said this morning that a secret hearing was held on October 23 in Kingston. Mohammad Shafia – the father considered the mastermind of the murders – would have testified to support the claims of his son about his age.
The stakes are high for Hamed Shafia: a youth sentence is usually much milder than adult sentence. In addition, parole opportunities arise earlier for a minor than a major.
A criminal law professor quoted by the Post said he did not believe “that such an argument has already been pleaded before the court” in Canada.