Tri-City News

PoMo man to be sentenced for kidnapping ex-wife

A Port Moody man who recently served two years in prison for criminally harassing his ex-wife will soon be sentenced on 10 new charges, this time for kidnapping and assault.

According to court documents, Safa Malakpour and his wife divorced in 2006 after 20 years of marriage. The following year, he was sentenced to 27 months for criminal harassment but shortly after he was released in March 2009, he made threatening comments that landed him back in the Matsqui Penitentiary.

He was released again in August 2009 to a Vancouver halfway house but left after a few days. Port Moody Police began investigating Malakpour that October after receiving new allegations of criminal harassment and threats; he was arrested in Montreal in December.

The latest charges stem from incidents that took place last January, after which Malakpour was charged with kidnapping, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, criminal harassment, uttering threats and breach of probation. After a trial in May he was found guilty in September 2012.

A trial for the outstanding charges from Port Moody in October 2009, as well as for breach of probation related to the January 2012 incidents, is scheduled to begin Jan. 25.

In B.C. Provincial Court in Port Coquitlam Thursday morning Crown counsel Mark Wolf made an application before the judge to have Malakpour's ex-wife testify on the breach matter, which included a no-contact order with the woman, via video from outside the courtroom.

Wolf told the court that Malakpour doesn't recognize the divorce or Canadian law, noting that during the trial in May 2012, he had to be removed from the court twice because of outbursts in which he shouted at his ex-wife and called her names in Farsi.

Wolf said Malakpour's ex-wife is "very fearful" of him and would be extremely uncomfortable being in the same room as him, which may prevent her from giving a full and honest testimony.

Malakpour's lawyer Faraz Arbabi argued that testifying via video makes it difficult to hand the witness documents and prevents the judge from assessing the witness's credibility based on facial expressions and gestures.

Judge H. Walters suggested the trial can begin with the witness testifying from behind a screen inside the courtroom. Malakpour, who remains in custody, will be behind a plexiglass screen and should reassure the witness of her safety,

Walters also cautioned Arbabi to ensure his client remains under control, saying, "I'll be watching him like a hawk," to ensure there are no outbursts.


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