Source: Wikipedia

A Vancouver court handed Syrian refugee Ibrahim Ali a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years after being convicted of the first-degree murder of a 13-year-old Burnaby, B.C. girl. 

The case has gripped the nation since the girl’s body was discovered discarded in a woodland park in 2017 with signs that she was sexually assaulted before death. 

The identity of the young victim remains protected under a publication ban.

The sentencing was marked by victim impact statements from the girl’s family, laying bare the enduring grief and turmoil they have faced since Ali’s crimes. 

The father’s statement recounted the moment he learned of his daughter’s disappearance and death. 

“I felt like a light suddenly went out and my mind went black,” said the father. 

During the proceedings, Ali, who was connected to the courtroom via video, visibly disengaged from the emotional testimonies by pacing in his cell.

Amidst the legal proceedings, the girl’s brother painted a picture of a family shattered beyond repair, with a mother described as “utterly destroyed.” 

Instead of apologizing Ali maintained his innocence to the court, insisting he was not present at the scene where the girl’s body was discovered in Burnaby’s Central Park. 

The case has not only been a legal battle but also drew attention to Canada’s immigration policies under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Ali’s refugee status and the subsequent protests outside the courthouse in 2019 sparked heated debates on national security, with demonstrators calling for greater accountability and stricter penalties for violent crimes.

Authorities identified Ali after a sweeping investigation involving over 2,000 potential DNA matches and tens of thousands of evidence documents.