Afshin Maleki Ighani.                                Submitted by RCMP

Afshin Maleki Ighani. Submitted by RCMP

Former New Zealand politician attacked in jail

Charges have been laid against an inmate who allegedly attacked Peter Beckett during his trial

The man found guilty of drowning his wife in Upper Arrow Lake after a Kelowna trial, was allegedly assaulted in jail just days before being found guilty.

Peter Beckett was found guilty of first degree murder in September of this year after a trial in Kelowna.

According to court documents charges have now been laid against Afshin Maleki Ighani due to two stabbings at the Okanagan Correctional Centre.

Just days after the alleged incident Beckett was found guilty of first degree murder for drowning his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett in Upper Arrow Lake near Revelstoke.

Beckett is now serving a life sentence with no parole eligibility for 25 years in a federal prison.

Meanwhile attempted murder charges against Ighani have been dropped and new charges laid due to the unrelated stabbings.

Ighani was accused of shooting Thomas Szajko in Oliver on April 19 in the area of Station Street. Szajko, who RCMP said knew Ighani, suffered a non life-threatening gunshot injury during the incident.

Szajko died in his home on Dec. 1 of unspecified causes. The Crown has decided not to pursue those charges anymore, due to a lack of evidence and testimony.

Ighani still faces several other charges over the alleged kidnapping of a woman, also dating back to April. At the time a Canada-wide warrant was issued for Ighani, who was tracked down near Princeton by a police dog services and arrested. An RCMP helicopter traced the alleged victim’s cell phone location helping determine Ighani’s whereabouts.

A warrant has been issued for two witnesses related to the kidnapping and other charges Ighani still faces. Witnesses reportedly were hesitant to testify on the matter

More charges have been laid on Ighani related to an alleged stabbing at the Okanagan Correctional Centre.

One small claims lawsuit, filed by inmate David James McHale alleges he was assaulted on Sept. 9. In his notice of claim he identified the other inmate as ‘Gagne Ighani.’ McHale said he is a protective custody inmate and was sitting in the unit yard with two other inmates when, unknown to the inmates, an officer forgot to lock the yard door when he left to serve brunch.

“After a few minutes, the door opened and inmate Ighani burst in. He looked around and focused on me. He came towards me, and proceeded to stab at me with a sharp shank and punch my head,” said McHale in his notice of claim, where he also states he suffered cuts to his hands, arm and shirt before the officer returned.

For that incident, Ighani is facing one count of assault with a weapon and one count of assault causing bodily harm.

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