Qatar upholds death sentence for British teacher murder

GMT 15:22 2015 Monday ,23 March

Arab Today, arab today Qatar upholds death sentence for British teacher murder

Patterson, from Kent in southern England
Doha - AFP

A Qatari court on Monday upheld a death sentence against a local man convicted of the murder of British school teacher Lauren Patterson.
Doha's Court of Appeal confirmed the sentence against Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah al-Jabar as Patterson's mother Alison, who had travelled from Britain for the hearing, watched on.
Although the death penalty is still handed down as a punishment in Qatar, it has been 12 years since the last execution took place and they are usually replaced by long prison sentences.
The last person executed in Qatar was killed by firing squad.
Al-Jabar's accomplice Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz also had his sentence of three years for helping to burn the 24-year-old's body and disposing of evidence confirmed at the same short hearing on Monday.
Both men are Qatari citizens.
Patterson, from Kent in southern England, was murdered in October 2013 after leaving a nightclub in central Doha with a female friend and the two convicted men.
The friend had previously told a court that she was dropped off by the men first who then assured her they would drive Patterson home.
That was the last time the teacher was seen alive.
She was sexually assaulted, stabbed and her remains burnt and found in a desert location outside the Qatari capital.
Both men were acquaintances of the young Briton.
During the original trial, a court said that Patterson had been stabbed twice.
Al-Jabar maintained he had accidentally stabbed Patterson after the pair had got into a fight which she had started.
The two men were originally convicted in March last year.
However they appealed their conviction on the basis that they had been tortured by prison guards and held in solitary confinement.
Prosecutors had also argued for a longer sentence to be handed to Aziz.
Patterson's mother was accompanied by friends and former colleagues of her daughter.
The case is one of two high-profile murder cases involving foreign teachers currently passing through the Qatari legal system.
Next month a verdict is expected in the long-running case of American Jennifer Brown,  who was killed in November 2012.
The 40-year-old was allegedly murdered by a Kenyan security guard just two months after she moved to the Gulf.
Brown, originally from Pennsylvania, was also stabbed to death.
The American's family have asked for Qatar to waive the death penalty and hand down a sentence of life imprisonment in the case of a conviction.  
The defence have asked for the court to consider a verdict of manslaughter rather than murder.

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