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Ottawa Jury Acquits Mohamed & Borozan of First Degree Murder

November 2nd, 2018 | by Richard Paul
Ottawa Jury Acquits Mohamed & Borozan of First Degree Murder
Canada
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Bunny @Danielle

 

 

Ottawa Courtroom

161 Elgin St, Ottawa, Ontario

 

Friday, November 2, 2018 5:25 pm

 

In a case which saw a courtroom full of crown attorneys sitting in the courtroom awaiting the jury’s final verdict on Friday November 2nd , 2018. A shocked Crown Attorney saw the acquittal of Mohammed Mohammed and Nedeljko Borozan of the first degree murder of Mohamed Najdi and kidnapping of Amirali Mohsen.

 

In a trial that was full of unexpected turns of events, the verdict came to conclude a most unusual trial.

 

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The prosecution’s star witness in the first-degree murder case of Mohamed Najdi’s gangland shooting has refused to testify.

The Crown was left calling the men that plead guilty to being involved in the murder  in an attempt to save its case.  Two of whom refused to testify with the two others contradicting themselves in their evidence before the jury of 12.

The trial judge was left with having to warn the jury about the dangers associated with relying on the evidence of witnesses of unsavoury characters and pointing out that the evidence that could potentially corroborate such evidence also came from other witnesses of unsavoury character.

In having to uphold their oath, the jurors had to consider the unreliable evidence of these witnesses in deciding the faith of these accused.  Applying the Judge’s instruction properly left the jury with no choice but to acquit the men facing the most serious offence under the criminal code.

The jurors heard that Mr. Najdi was gunned down on an Ottawa street on January 10, 2016.  After the shooting, Mr. Moshen was kidnapped by a group of masked men and driven around the City over a 2 hour period; he was let go unarmed.  Crown counsel could not pinpoint an actual motive for the shooting, various motives were offered by the witnesses, ranging from kidnapping for ransom, to stealing the victim’s gold for revenge, and to some animosity because the victim was a known police witness.  The witnesses could not keep their stories straight as to whether every one’s cellphones were left behind to avoid detection as the cellphone tower evidence did not confirm such evidence, and nor did the Crown’s final argument on that point. The evidence of an agreed statement of fact by one of the men who plead guilty contradicted the evidence that the Crown argued in his final representation to the jury.  Indeed, the Crown tried to argue that these Accused used a cellphone  after the shooting to communicate with each others, while the agreed statement of facts stated that everybody left their cellphones at the apartment.

The trial saw the tv like dramatic identification by one witness, Ms. Warner, of Mr. Mohamed, a man she had never before saw in her life and whom she was certain she recognized through a mask because of his eyes although she also agreed with defence’s counsel suggestion that she could not identify a person through a mask. The witness would have recognized Mr. mohamed, a stranger to her, through a mask almost three years after the fact.  A man she had not previously identified through any photo lineup.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, ” Ontario Superior Court Justice Hugh McLean allowed prosecutors to cross-examine their own witness on inconsistencies between the facts he swore to when he pleaded guilty to his crime and his testimony Monday.

The soft-spoken witness … admitted in a near-whisper that the plan was to demand a $40,000 ransom from Najdi’s family, that they concocted that plan over two hours at the Vanier home of one of the men and that he and another man were armed with two of four loaded guns and wore balaclavas as they rolled up on Najdi.”

The lead investigator, Det. Benson testified at this trial  that there was no forensic evidence linking Mohamed or Borozan to this crime; no fingerprinting; no DNA linkage and no surveillance videos.  On the other hand there was such evidence regarding the men that did plead guilty.

Det. Benson also testified that before Hussein Najdi even spoke to anyone, including Mohsen on the night of the murder, he (Hussein Najdi) believed Shadow was involved in setting up his brother and from that moment, Hussein Najdi was adamant that Shadow was responsible regardless of the evidence against his suspicions.

Ms. Warner, another witness, and friend of the deceased acknowledged that after the shooting a lot of people were saying Shadow was the shooter; which rumours, Defence counsel argued affected her evidence.  Talk on the street and threats by Hussein Najdi, made her identify someone through a black masked that she never met before very suspicious.

Indeed Ms. Warner testified that a few weeks before trial /hussein Najdi threatened her and Mr. Mohsen at the St-Laurent Mall, according to Warner, Hussein Najdi told Mohsen “I will kill you and your bitch (referring to Warner) if you don’t testify at the trial.  Hussein Najdi got out of his vehicle and punched Mohsen, at that time, according to Ms. Warner.

 

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This was not the first time Hussein Najdi punched Mohsen.  On the night of the shooting, when Mohsen attended the Najdi residence to report the shooting; Hussein Najdi “beat the shit out of him” according to a statement Hussein Najdi gave to the police after the murder.  Yet in court Hussein Najdi trying to minimizing the beating saying that he may have exaggerated when he spoke to police about it.

The jurors were warned during defence counsel, Ms. Diane Condo, and Lawrence Greenspoon, about that frailties of eyewitness identification as being inherently unreliable, especially when it comes from credible and convincing witnesses; compounded with the fact that it was made by an unreliable witness (Mr. Mohsen) apparently telling another unreliable witness (Mr. Hussein).

I addition, the jury heard that the alleged identification was not even of Mr. Mohamed but of someone by the nickname Shadow… Shadow was the shooter – The jury having heard from witnesses that there was 3-4 other men in Ottawa nicknamed Shadow, beside Mr. Mohamed

To compound the identification evidence Hussein Najdi also testified that he did not know Mr. Mohamed either.  Mohsen also testified that he did not know Mohamed Mohamed and never saw him before.

So the question the jury had to answer is how was it possible that Mohsen – a few minutes after he was released from his captors, would have been able to identify the shooter to Hussein Najdi as Shadow ???  How is that even possible??

In addition, Mohsen himself denied recognizing the masked man at trial, the man that he referred to as the “man dressed in grey” in his statement to the police.

To compound the frailties of such identification the jury would have had to believe the evidence of Hussein Najdi an admitted drug dealer in the city that Mohsen would have told him “Shadow is the shooter”;  not to forget the leap needed to be made between whoever Mohsen may have been referring to as Shadow; since on account of everybody –  Mohsen did not know Mr. Mohamed – let alone whether his nickname was Shadow

Mr. Husssein Najdi was one of those witnesses of unsavoury character that the Judge warned the jury about.  The jury also heard the police was told for the first only 18 months after the murder of this allege identification of the shooter as Shadow by Mohsen to Najdi and only according to Najdi and not Mohsen; adding to the suspicious nature of Hussein Najdi’s evidence.

 

 

Diane Law

Ottawa Defense Lawyer Diane Condo

 

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Ottawa Defense lawyer Lawrence Greenspoon

 

 

 

 

Crown has yet to announce if it will appeal the case. Although the Crown will have a hard time since the Crown can only appeal on a question of law and the law ruled in the Crown’s throughout the trial.

 

Richard Paul

 

 

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