The father of 19-year-old Yosif Al-Hasnawi told a courtroom that a paramedic treating his son near a Hamilton mosque in 2017 asked him to tell his son to “stop acting.”
Day three in the trial of two paramedics, accused of failing to provide the necessaries of life, saw the senior Al-Hasnawi respond in Arabic to questions from the crown and defence through a translator.
“Tell him to stop acting. No need to lie,” is what Majed Al-Hasnawi claims one of the paramedics said to him as he ran to the aid of his son from a nearby mosque on Main Street East the night of Dec. 2, 2017.
He went on to say a paramedic also asked him if his son was on any”substances”, to which he replied, “No, he’s a medical student.”
Responding to questions from prosecutor Scott Patterson, Al-Hasnawi characterized the treatment of his son as “shameful” and “humiliating” when he was put onto a stretcher by one of the paramedics before being transported to St. Joe’s hospital.
“He was lifting Yosef with this, with his right arm on Yosif’s left wrist and with the other hand lifted him from his thigh,” the translator said during Al Hasnawi’s recollection in Arabic.
Later, after he learned of his son’s passing from hospital staff, Majed says he confronted one of the attending paramedics and said, “do you believe him now or not?”
Steve Snively, of Hamilton, and Christopher Marchant, of Whitby, are on trial in a Hamilton Superior Court and charged with failing to provide the necessities of life to Yosif Al Hasnawi.
The pair were charged in 2018 in connection with the shooting incident in which Al-Hasnawi was trying to help an older man who was allegedly being accosted by two other men outside a Hamilton mosque near Main and Sanford streets in December 2017.
During the prosecution’s questioning, Al-Hasnawi also said he didn’t see any medical equipment or devices when the paramedics treated his son, just their hands.
He also said one of the Hamilton police officers he knew by the name of “Mike” told him his son was likely shot with a BB gun since there was no shell casing found nearby.
Al-Hasnawi said his son delivered a reading from the Quran at the mosque on Main Street East on the night of the murder.
Defence questions Al-Hasnawi’s statements to police and paramedics
The defence’s cross-examination centred around three statements Majed Al-Hasnawi gave to Hamilton police in Dec. 2017, Niagara police in Feb. 2018 and a third to a paramedics supervisor in May 2018.
Attorney Michael DelGobbo, who represents Snively, directed his questioning around transcriptions of the two police interviews and asked him whether it was one or two people that moved his son onto a nearby stretcher.
DelGobbo referenced statements where the elder Al Hasnawi said “they throw him” on the stretcher the night of the incident and wanted to clarify who “they” were.
The witness replied saying his “expression” and use of the pronoun “they” was incorrect.
“What I meant was just one person,” said Al-Hasnawi.
Del Gobbo also asked why in his statements to police he didn’t share details of actions from a paramedic to move the victim’s legs to his own stomach, yet did in the interview he did with paramedics in May 2018.
The elder Al Hasnawi responded by saying he forgot to mention that during the interviews with police.
The attorney then questioned the timing of Majed’s recollection of how long Yosif was on the ground before put into an ambulance the night of the incident. He told the court on Monday it was around 30 minutes.
However, in his interview with Niagara police, he said it was at least 15 minutes.
Marchant’s attorney Jeff Manishen’s cross-examination also revolved around what the elder Al-Hasnawi told police in interviews and particularly “who said what.”
Manishen suggested that Majed may have made mistakes in his recollection of events since he was going through a “traumatic” incident.
Al-Hasnawi’s interpreter responded, “It is possible.”
The defence then pursued the first interview with Hamilton police and who told him to tell his son “to stop acting.”
Manishen pointed out in the transcription with Hamilton police in 2017, he told them it was the police officer contrary to what he said during the prosecutions questioning, earlier.
Al-Hasnawi then responded through his interpreter saying it was “the whole group” that were thinking Yosif was acting. Police and paramedics.
“Whatever the police officer is going to say…it’s not going to affect my son’s life,” he said.
The defence’s line of questioning also tackled the proximity of the emergency vehicles on the scene the night of the incident.
In his Feb. 2018 statement to Niagara police, Al-Hasnawi said police officers were about 20 metres from the scene on Dec. 2.
On Monday he told the court it was between 10 to 20 metres to which Manishen said he was “a bit confused” by the difference year over year.
Manishen asked If he told him it’s closer than 20 metres, would he agree?
Through his interpreter, Al-Hasnawi responded, “Even if it was 10 metres farther, I would agree with you because I don’t know.”
Day five of the trial will resume on Tuesday morning with Al-Hasnawi’s father expected to continue his time on the stand.
Over the next five weeks, Justice Harrison Arrell is expected to hear testimony from numerous witnesses, including emergency responders, Al-Hasnawi’s family, and bystanders who witnessed the teenager’s final moments.