Canada briefs – August 7

A Montreal couple and their son did not enter pleas or seek bail when they made separate video appearances in a Kingston, Ont., court today on first-degree murder charges.

Couple, son make court appearance

KINGSTON, Ont. — A Montreal couple and their son did not enter pleas or seek bail when they made separate video appearances in a Kingston, Ont., court today on first-degree murder charges.

Mohammed Shafi, his wife Touba Yahya Shafi and his 18-year-old son Hamed Shafi are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

They were charged last month after the bodies of three sisters and a 50-year-old relative were found in a submerged car in the Rideau Canal.

The bodies of 19-year-old Zainab Shafi, 17-year-old Sahar and 13-year-old Geeti along with Rona Amir Mohammed were found on June 30.

The court authorized the parents’ other children to make unsupervised visits at the respective detention centres.

The three accused have hired new lawyers, who say they have received no disclosure of evidence from police.

They expect some information by Aug. 12 and the accused are due back in court for another video appearance on Aug. 14.

The father and son were expressionless during their brief appearances today, but the mother was obviously distraught and biting her lip.

The father had told police the deaths occurred as the family was headed home from Niagara Falls and had stopped for the night at a Kingston hotel.

Divers find old plane wreckage

LONGUE-POINTE-DE-MINGUE, Que. — U.S. authorities may soon be able to turn the page on a nearly 70-year-old wartime mystery involving a seaplane that crashed in the St. Lawrence River.

Canadian divers believe they may have discovered the wreckage of a U.S. Army air force amphibious craft that went down near the village of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan in eastern Quebec on Nov. 2, 1942.

Nine people were aboard the PBY-5A Catalina, which was based at Presque Isle, Maine, and serviced an airfield in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan.

Four crew members were able to get out of the plane and were found by local fishermen.

The five other people trapped inside the aircraft died and their bodies have yet to be recovered.

Finns capture assault suspect

VANCOUVER — It was a working vacation.

A group of Finnish police officers in Vancouver to play hockey in the World Police and Fire Games chased down a man they saw assault a bus driver.

The officers were riding a bus in downtown Vancouver when two men on the bus started fighting.

Vancouver police say when the driver pressed his emergency button and called security over the phone, one of the men fighting punched the driver, sending his head slamming into the steering wheel.

The man fled, and the Finnish officers gave chase, eventually catching up with the man and holding him until transit security and police showed up.

Police say the driver was shaken up by the attack and suffered a cut to his nose.

David Leopold Ruscheinsky, 50, of Vancouver is charged with two counts of assault.

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