Man alleged to have stabbed pregnant wife charged with murder of child
Published Friday, March 9, 2018 10:03AM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 9, 2018 10:30AM EST
A Montreal man will stand trial for premeditated murder in the death of a newborn baby delivered by emergency C-section after a judge ruled a jury can decide if the infant fits the legal definition of a human being.
Sofiane Ghazi is accused of stabbing his wife, who was eight months pregnant at the time, during a domestic dispute inside their apartment on Langelier Boulevard last July.
Ghazi’s wife survived the attack, but her baby boy did not. Doctors were forced to deliver the baby by emergency C-section and the newborn died shortly after in hospital.
The 37-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder in the death of the baby as well as attempted murder for the alleged attack on his wife.
Ghazi’s defence argued that the murder charge should be dropped because the baby wasn’t legally alive when he died. On Thursday, a judge ruled there was enough evidence to allow a jury to decide if the baby should be legally considered a human being.
A publication ban prevents the media from reporting on what that evidence is for now.
“All I can say is right now, the judge decided there is enough evidence for a jury to make a decision in a future trial,” prosecutor Chantal Michaud told CTV Montreal on Thursday.
According to the Criminal Code, a child has become a human being “when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not, it has breathed, it has an independent circulation, or the naval string is severed.”
Ghazi’s lawyer told reporters outside the courtroom that there will be a debate during the trial about the definition of what constitutes a live birth and if it applies in this case.
The court will next set a trial date for Ghazi, which could take place this fall or next year. However, the defence has already indicated they could challenge Thursday’s decision.
Ghazi remains in custody behind bars and will not seek bail.
None of the allegations have been tested in court.