Man sentenced to life for killing woman with hammer in terrorism case

·1 min read

TORONTO — A man who pleaded guilty to the terror-related killing of a Toronto woman with a hammer was sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole eligibility for 25 years.

It marked the first conviction under a Criminal Code provision that deems murder to be first degree if it is committed in the course of terrorist activity.

Saad Akhtar had turned himself in after the February 2020 killing in northeast Toronto.

He selected Hang-Kam "Annie" Chiu at random but later told police his motivation was to commit a terrorist attack in the name of terror group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The case was jointly investigated by the Toronto police and the RCMP, and prosecuted by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.

Federal Crown attorney Jason Wakely says the offender intended to cause fear and insecurity.

"As in all such acts of terrorism, no motivation justifies or can explain what remain brutal and senseless acts," Wakely said in a statement Thursday.

"While the sentence reflects society's denunciation, it cannot address the loss suffered by the family of Ms. Chiu. We hope that this resolution can bring them some closure."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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