News Agencies – November 1, 2012
When the Canadian Crown asked Peer Khairi the Afghan immigrant — accused of murdering his culturally permissive wife to preserve the family’s Muslim honour — whether he expected his children to adhere to Islamic dress codes, he became indignant. “This is a free country, [so] how could I deny people of such freedom?” Mr. Khairi testified, speaking through a Dari interpreter.
Now in its fourth week, Mr. Khairi’s second-degree murder trial in Ontario Superior Court is focused on the accused’s state of mind on March 18, 2008, the day he killed Randjida Khairi at the peak of a heated argument. The Crown characterizes the slaying as an honour crime, alleging Mr. Khairi was driven by his growing frustration at his wife’s willingness to embrace Canadian values and to allow their children to do the same. Mr. Khairi, who began testifying in his own defence this week, has offered a myriad of alternative motives: in one, he was provoked by his wife’s ceaseless insults; in another, he acted out of self-defence when she lunged at him with a knife; in a third, he killed her in a moment of blind insanity.