The suspect in the Shemina Hirji case has exercised his rights not to speak to police and has retained a lawyer, investigators said yesterday.


Police would neither confirm nor deny that the suspect was Hirji’s husband Narinder “Paul” Cheema.


“We cannot just name somebody as a suspect unless they have been charged,” said Cpl. Dale Carr, spokesman for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.


Hirji, a Surrey school principal, died July 5 after an apparent home invasion.


However, Carr revealed more information about the 24 hours the suspect was held in custody.

“A family member contacted a lawyer for him and he followed his lawyers advice, and chose not to speak to police,” he said.

The suspect was not charged, and was released from custody Sunday.

“We’d have to appear before a justice of the peace but we weren’t prepared to do that at this time.”

Carr wouldn’t discuss what ultimately led to the arrest. However, Cheema’s version of events, which involved three home invaders, is no longer plausible.