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Trial begins in pregnant wife’s death

Nearly four years after her burned remains were discovered at a Delta-area beach, the trial for the murder of Surrey schoolteacher Manjit Panghali commenced yesterday with the Crown prosecutor unveiling early evidence against Mukhtiar Singh Panghali, the victim’s husband.

Nearly four years after her burned remains were discovered at a Delta-area beach, the trial for the murder of Surrey schoolteacher Manjit Panghali commenced yesterday with the Crown prosecutor unveiling early evidence against Mukhtiar Singh Panghali, the victim’s husband.

Sitting before a New West courtroom containing friends and relatives of his late wife — who was four months pregnant with their second child at the time of her death — Panghali appeared calm and attentive as the Crown alleged he had knowingly tampered with the victim’s car and cellphone in an attempt to fool authorities.

Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, defence attorney Michael Tammen dismissed the prosecution’s case as “entirely circumstantial.” He declined to state whether Panghali would eventually take the stand in his own defence in a trial that is expected to last four weeks.

Panghali was arrested five months after his wife’s disappearance, and has been in police custody since the spring of 2007.

 
 
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