A relative of the suspects in the deaths of three sisters and another woman found in the Rideau Canal says it was not a so-called "honour killing" and it was not murder.

The June 30 car crash into the canal near Kingston, Ont., killed three sisters, aged 19, 17 and 13, along with 52-year-old Rona Amir Mohammad.

The girls' parents -- Mohammad Shafia and Tooba Mohammad Yahya -- and their 18-year-old brother are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Yahya's uncle, Zarmina Fazel, told the Toronto Star in an interview that that deaths were the result of "sabotage" and suicide on the oldest girl's part.

Fazel pounded a table when asked about an "honour killing" and claimed the oldest daughter, Zainab Shafia, was "not normal." He also said the father "is a very honest man" and the mother is "not this kind of person."

Neighbours of the family, who lived in a modest rented home in the Montreal borough of Saint-Leonard, said they were quiet and respectful.

Joyce Gilbert, who lives below the family, said the teenage girls were "angels.""

But last spring, said Gilbert, Zainab apparently fell in love with a boy who was from a different community and the the father didn't want them going out together. She said the girl ran away for two or three weeks and the police came.

The three accused are being held in police custody until their next court appearances, scheduled for Aug. 6.