Lawyer for one of two alleged killers of Surrey woman names third possible suspect

JENNIFER SALTMAN
VANCOUVER DESI

Tasha Rossette

Tasha Rosette was found dead in her basement suite on Nov. 22, 2005. Submitted photo

A lawyer for one of the men accused of killing 21-year-old Tasha Rosette suggested in court that someone else could have been responsible for the Surrey woman’s death.

Amjad Khan and Naim Saghir are on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster for first-degree murder in connection with Rosette’s death. Rosette was found at the entrance to her basement suite on Nov. 22, 2005. She had been stabbed more than 40 times and her throat was slashed.

Khan’s lawyer Robert Claus called one of Rosette’s friends as a witness to support his argument that someone else killed Rosette.

Ruby Jubbal testified that a year or two before Rosette died, she arranged a sham marriage between Rosette and a man from India. She and Rosette were to share $6,000 to $8,000 up front and about $10,000 after Rosette’s husband became a landed immigrant.

After the marriage, Rosette frequently asked Jubbal for money. Claus asked if the requests were ever accompanied by threats. Jubbal said Rosette had threatened to go to the police or immigration authorities to report the fake marriage.

When she was asked if the threats concerned her, Jubbal said, “Sometimes.”

She admitted that she may have threatened Rosette, but couldn’t recall what was said.

“Did you kill her?” Claus asked.

“No,” Jubbal responded.

“Did you arrange for anyone else to kill her?”

“No, sir.”

Crown prosecutor Satinder Sidhu suggested that Jubbal didn’t take the threats seriously because Rosette would also be in trouble if she went to the authorities. Jubbal agreed.

“You liked Tasha Rosette,” Sidhu said.

“Yes,” Jubbal said.

Instead, Sidhu pointed out that it was Rosette’s twin sister, Tanya, that Jubbal really had a problem with, and Rosette was usually the calm one.

“[Tasha] was trying to make peace, correct?” Sidhu said.

“Yes,” Jubbal said.

Jubbal told police that she last spoke to Rosette about a month before she died and that on the night of the murder she was with a mutual friend.

Justice Ian Josephson will determine whether Jubbal’s testimony will be admitted as evidence at the trial.

The Crown’s theory is that Khan became unhappy when Rosette, who was pregnant with his baby, refused to have an abortion and enlisted Saghir’s help to kill her. It is alleged that on the night she died — two days before her body was found — Khan picked Rosette up at a Surrey bingo hall and took her home, where Saghir was waiting.

The trial that is under way is the second for Khan and Saghir.

In 2008 a jury found the two men guilty of murder and conspiracy, but three years later the B.C. Appeal Court overturned the convictions and ordered a new trial.

jensaltman@theprovince.com
twitter.com/jensaltman

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