Canada neurosurgeon pleads guilty to murdering wife

MONTREAL (AFP) - A Canadian neurosurgeon on Monday (April 8) pleaded guilty to murdering his wife, stuffing her body in a suitcase and throwing it in a river after she told him she was leaving him, media reports said.

Mohammed Shamji, 43, admitted he had bludgeoned and strangled 40-year-old Elana Fric-Shamji, also a doctor with whom he had three children, in late 2016 in their home in Toronto.

He was arrested the next day when her body was discovered on the banks of the river. He was charged with premeditated murder.

At a pre-trial hearing Monday, he pleaded guilty to murder without premeditation, which carries an automatic life sentence but with the possibility of parole after 10 years. Premeditated murder allows for a chance of parole only after 25 years.

The plea avoids a trial which had been due to start in the coming days. Shamji will learn his sentence in a hearing due on May 8, media said.

Police said that on Nov 28, 2016, Fric-Shamji filed for divorce. Two days later, her husband hit her several times and strangled her at their home.

Their 11-year-old daughter heard the assault and came into her parents' room, only to be ordered back to her own bed by her father, according to documents released on Monday.

Shamji then put his wife's body in a suitcase which he threw into the Humber river, some 30 kilometers north of Toronto. The couple had been married for 12 years.

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