Man who pleaded guilty in killing of unborn child wants to withdraw plea

According to the Criminal Code, a child is considered a human being “when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother,” whether or not it has breathed, has independent circulation or has had its umbilical cord cut.

A Montreal man who pleaded guilty just 12 days ago to fatally stabbing his unborn child told a Quebec Superior Court justice on Tuesday that he now wants to withdraw his plea.

That was one of the comments from Sofiane Ghazi as he informed a Montreal court he’d fired the lawyers who represented him throughout the case, alleging they hadn’t properly informed him of his rights.

The move caught both the Crown and Quebec Superior Court Justice Jean-Francois Buffoni by surprise during what was supposed to be Ghazi’s sentencing hearing.

Ghazi, 39, suddenly pleaded guilty on Sept. 5 — the second day of his trial — to reduced charges of the second-degree murder of the infant boy and the aggravated assault against his wife. He had initially gone to trial on first-degree murder and attempted murder charges.

In an agreed statement of facts, Ghazi admitted to stabbing his wife 19 times with a carving fork — 12 times on the left side of her stomach and seven times in the upper left thigh.

Of those, nine wounds were inflicted on the baby in the womb and observed on the newborn after his birth.

Ghazi’s now ex-wife survived the July 24, 2017, attack after being rushed to hospital, and the child, who in court was referred to only as Baby Ghazi, was delivered by emergency C-section.

According to the Criminal Code, a child is considered a human being “when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother,” whether or not it has breathed, has independent circulation or has had its umbilical cord cut.

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