A Pakistani man living in Brooklyn ordered the deaths of two people in Pakistan as retaliation after his daughter was freed from an arranged marriage there, prosecutors said.
Muzzammil Hassan expressed deep regret as he was given the maximum sentence when he appeared before Erie County Judge Thomas Franczyk in Buffalo Wednesday.
A handcuffed Muzzammil Hassan was escorted from the Buffalo courtroom by a half dozen court officers after a strident appeal to Erie County Judge Thomas Franczyk that failed to change the judge’s mind.
Opening statements in the second-degree murder trial of Muzzammil Hassan were scheduled to start Tuesday in Erie County Court in Buffalo.
Potential jurors are being asked whether they have issues with the Pakistan-born Hassan’s ethnicity, or the fact that he’s Muslim and may claim self-defense.
Prosecution and defense lawyers expected it would take longer than usual to seat 12 jurors for Muzzammil Hassan’s trial because of media attention the case has received since February 2009.
Lawyers in the case against Muzzammil Hassan were in Erie County Court Friday for a final conference in advance of Hassan’s second-degree murder trial. Jury selection starts Monday.
Defense and prosecution lawyers were expected to discuss jury selection and other housekeeping matters during a conference Tuesday in Erie County Court in Buffalo.
Aasiya Hassan was killed in 2009 inside the TV station she and her husband established to promote cultural understanding. She had recently filed for divorce.