SURREY realtor Tanpreet Kaur Athwal was given a life sentence with no parole for 25 years in connection to the 2007 murder of Amanpreet Kaur Bahia last Saturday (November 25) at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
Bahia’s husband Baljinder Singh Bahia and hired hitman Eduard Baranec, who were found guilty of first-degree murder in the case by a jury in New Westminster, had already been sentenced by a B.C. Supreme Court justice to life with no eligibility for parole for 25 years in October 2016.
More than 10 years ago, Amanpreet Bahia, 33, was found stabbed on the kitchen floor of her Newton home by her in-laws as they returned home from a doctor’s appointment. Her throat had been slit several times. Two of her three daughters were at home that day in February 2007.
Police were apparently baffled until a police sting in Saskatchewan that wasn’t connected to the Bahia case started to unravel the whole mystery. Baranec ended up telling an undercover officer who posed as a member of a fictitious criminal organization about the Bahia murder and his connection to realtor Athwal.
Baranec had received $15,000 to murder Bahia, according to the audio recordings and other evidence the Crown presented in court.
The police then started zeroing in on the victim’s husband Baljinder Singh Bahia as they suspected he had hired Baranec to carry out his wife’s murder.
A video-taped confession he made to police was part of the key evidence that was presented in court.
The court heard that Athwal and Bahia were suspected of having an affair and allegedly schemed to kill Amanpreet Bahia.
Baljinder Bahia, Baranec and Athwal were charged in February 2011 and were ordered to stand trial after a preliminary hearing in provincial court in May 2012. A trial was scheduled for January 2014, but was postponed several times.
BACK in 2007, just a day after her funeral, Amanpreet Bahia’s siblings told a local newspaper about the controlling atmosphere in the home the victim had lived in.
The report said: “They said she had practically no social life, was told not to wear makeup or jewelry, was rarely allowed to speak to her overseas relatives by phone, and had been unhappy since her marriage in India in 1995.”