Toronto neurosurgeon charged with killing his wife ordered to stand trial

Toronto neurosurgeon charged with killing his wife ordered to stand trial

TORONTO — A Toronto neurosurgeon accused of murdering his wife has been ordered to stand trial, a prosecutor said Friday.

Dr. Mohammed Shamji is charged with first-degree murder and committing an indignity to human remains in the death of Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji, the mother of his three children.

A Crown lawyer in the case said a date has not yet been picked for the start of the trial, but noted that Shamji is scheduled to return to court April 6.

Fric-Shamji, a family doctor at Scarborough and Rouge Hospital, was last seen Nov. 30, 2016.

The 40-year-old's beaten body was found in a suitcase by the side of a road north of Toronto the following day. Police arrested Shamji, her husband of 12 years, the day after that.

An investigation revealed Fric-Shamji had died of strangulation and blunt force trauma, police said at the time.

Social media posts depicted the couple as having a blissful family life, but police said the relationship had been troubled.

Prior to his arrest Shamji worked at Toronto Western Hospital and was a faculty member at the University of Toronto.

He and his wife both had advanced degrees in addition to their medical qualifications.

Fric-Shamji had a master's degree in public policy from Duke University, according to a biography in research she published. Shamji has a PhD in biomedical engineering, also from Duke.

Her death sparked an outpouring of grief and disbelief from those who knew Fric-Shamji, described as a talented professional who helped improve the health-care system.

"We would ... like to express thanks to the many friends, neighbours and colleagues who have shared their memories of Elana as a wonderful person, mother, and physician," her family said in a December 2016 statement.

 

The Canadian Press