Three Montrealers accused of murdering four members of their own family appeared in a Kingston courtroom via video-conference on Friday.

Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Yahya, and their 18-year-old son Hamed are facing four counts of first degree murder and four counts of conspiracy to commit murder.

There were arrested and charged nearly a month after a car was found in the Rideau canal near Kingston in June with bodies inside.

In court on Friday investigators revealed how complex the case is, and why it may drag through the courts.

Defense lawyers still don't have most of the evidence in their hands, including autopsy reports and forensic analysis.

They're also waiting on transcripts of wire-tapped telephone conversations.

Not only do the conversations need to be written down, they also need to be translated from Farsi.

The three accused are now being detained in the Quinte detention centre, but they are not allowed to talk to each other

Their next court appearance will be on Oct. 9, and a preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for February.