The husband of the 40-year-old Dorval woman (both pictured) on trial for stabbing their eldest daughter after she stayed out all night testified he couldn’t imagine that his wife can be the person who could be harming their daughter the day of the alleged attack.
Johra Kaleki is charged with attempted murder, assault with a weapon, and assault causing bodily harm. Bahar Ebrahimi, now 21, suffered stab wounds to her head, neck and hand in an attack at the family home in June 2010. Testimony so far has shown that Bahar and Kaleki were increasingly at odds with each other as the young woman disobeyed her parents and went against their Muslim traditions.
Ebrahim Ebrahimi, 52, described his wife as a very patient, talkative, “very nice woman.”
“My wife is a very lovely woman. She’s a good wife, a good mother, she loves her children,” Ebrahimi testified.
He said the concept of discipline didn’t really exist in their household, “that they are allowed, not allowed, this doesn’t exist.”
“Discipline is really a very, very heavy word,” Ebrahimi said.
“They are kids, a child makes mistakes. There is no punishment. Violence never exist in the home. We never raise a hand against them.”
Ebrahimi testified that they believed in God but they didn’t practice religion at home.
Ebrahimi testified that on the day of the alleged attack, he and Kaleki had been waiting up all night for Bahar to come home. Ebrahimi said his wife was tired, due to lack of sleep the night before when Bahar had again stayed out late. He said Kaleki was having severe headaches and felt nauseous, “absolutely restless.” Ebrahimi testified his wife said she began hearing Bahar’s voice, even though she wasn’t home yet, and that Kaleki said their daughter “was playing hide-and-seek.”
Ebrahimi said Bahar came home in a taxi at around 6 a.m. They along with Kaleki took the conversation inside down to the basement. He said his wife said “in a weird tone, like someone give order to someone, ‘Could you leave us alone? I’m going to talk to her.’ ”
Ebrahimi testified he went outside for a smoke and when he went back in the house, he heard screaming. He said he rushed downstairs and saw Kaleki and his daughter grabbing each other on the hair and blood everywhere. Ebrahimi said he tried to separate them.
He testified his wife had “very, very big eyes, her eyes were open big.”
“She was unusually strong. She had a freaky laugh, like in horror movies,” Ebrahimi said, adding she made many noises, not from her throat but from her stomach.
“It was horrible, scary,” he said.
“I never see her like that before.”
Ebrahimi said his wife kept laughing that “horrible laugh,” and kept saying, “Kill her.”
“I know her for 23 years. We went through so many good days, bad days. The time of the Taliban, we walked three nights to flee to Pakistan,” Ebrahimi said, the pitch of his voice getting higher.
“I know her, how gentle she is. It’s beyond my imagination. I can’t take that, to think she can be the person who can be harming our daughter.”
Ebrahimi said he finally was able to pull his wife away from their daughter who fled upstairs to the kitchen. He said he followed his daughter to see if she was hurt.
“Bahar had lots of blood coming from her hands. I open the water to wash her hands and I saw a big wound on her hand,” Ebrahimi said.
Ebrahimi said police, ambulance and youth protection officials arrived and by the end of it all, his wife was taken by police, his daughter was taken to hospital and their other children were screaming.
“In one minute, in one second, whatever I built in my life was destroyed,” he testified.
“That was horrible, that day for us.”
Ebrahimi’s testimony is part of a voir dire hearing in which the judge has to decide if certain statements, including a videotaped police interrogation of Kaleki, are allowed into evidence. Kaleki’s lawyer contends that her client was in mental distress at the time and did not freely or knowingly make the statements.
In the video, Kaleki admits to stabbing her daughter. A police officer testified that Kaleki said her intention was to kill Bahar and was heard saying at the time, “Let me finish this.”
Kaleki took the stand and testified that she remembered nothing about the video, what she said to police or what happened that day.
The trial resumes in late January.