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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Doha court postpones Jennifer Brown murder trial until November

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Doha court

With reporting from Riham Sheble

Following lengthy delays, the trial of a Kenyan security guard accused of killing American teacher Jennifer Brown has once again been adjourned, this time for four months.

The court will pick the case back up on Nov. 10, about two years after the 40-year-old was killed in her Al Sadd apartment in 2012.

Jennifer Brown

A Kenyan security guard is on trial for her murder, but one of the reasons for the delay has involved his difficulty in retaining a lawyer.

A public defender appointed to him quit the case some months ago, and another lawyer the defendant hired dropped out shortly before a hearing last month convened.

The defendant now has new legal counsel, who today requested more time to get up to speed on the case, and to cross-examine witnesses.

When reached by phone at their home in Pennsylvania, Brown’s parents both expressed dismay at the latest adjournment.

Robert Brown said, “It’s just disappointing, you know. I don’t know what else to say. This doesn’t seem right.”

His wife, Mary Brown, said: “All I can say is that I hope he gets what he deserves. He took my little girl away from me. She was my little girl.”

The absence of key witnesses is another factor that has contributed to the lengthy trial, which began in June 2013. At that time, a psychiatric evaluation was ordered for the defendant.

However, a year later, the doctor who spoke with the defendant has not appeared in court despite being summoned nearly half a dozen times.

Contrast

The trial’s pace is markedly different than that of Lauren Patterson’s, a British teacher whose killer was sentenced to death in March, only five months after he and his accomplice were arrested. The case is now in appeals court.

Both teachers’ cases, which may have involved sexual assault as well as murder, have been closely watched by many of Qatar’s residents, especially single female expats.

If found guilty, the guard, like Patterson’s murderer, faces the death penalty – though notably, Qatar has not carried out any executions in over a decade.

According to previous witness testimony, the security guard was arrested and reportedly confessed to the crime a few days after Brown’s body was found in her apartment, half-naked and wrapped in a comforter on her bed.

When the hearings resume in November, a police officer and forensic examiner are expected to testify.

Thoughts?

31 COMMENTS

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hohum
hohum
7 years ago

The courts are simply incompetent. The police are incompetent. Having been imprisoned in Qatar when I hear that somebody has confessed I automatically think what was done to get a confession. What is the other evidence being used apart from the confession? The police rely too heavily on getting confessions because they lack the investigative skills in convicting people through acceptable means.

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
7 years ago

Hope the teacher gets the right and honest justice

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago

“The defendant now has new legal counsel, who today requested more time to get up to speed on the case, and to cross-examine witnesses.”

“the doctor who spoke with the defendant has not appeared in court despite being summoned nearly half a dozen times”

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Well issue a warrant for the arrest of the doctor and bring him before the court to give evidence and answer why he should not be convicted of contempt? Oh but maybe he is in Belgium looking after his children! The current system is failing the Qatar citizens and residents.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

So, if you bring up the Villagio case, as an example of the
failing of the legal system, then can I also bring the failings of the
International & Western legal systems that have failed to hold accountable
the many people who committed crimes against Iraqi and Afghanis civilians, be
they soldiers on the ground, their commanders who give the orders, and worst of
the politicians who start these wars?

I often wonder if all the people here commenting
angrily on the Villagio defendants not having started serving time feel even an
ounce of that outrage toward the likes of Bush, Cheney, Blair, Howard, etc. not
even having to face the possibility of being tried for all the war crimes they’ve
been responsible for in Iraq. End of rant.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Deflecting is not a defence. You as a citizen have power to right the wrong but you choose to deflect. And as a side issue I agree with your assertion that those you mention have not been held accountable for their actions, and should be.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

lol Trust me; if I had the power to even remotely right any of these wrongs, I’d done so. As you put it so well in your comment, “The current system is failing the Qatar citizens and residents”. Maybe when the day finally come and we have an effective elected parliament, maybe then.

On the plus side; the new prime minister does seem to be keen on fixing issues related to delays in government projects; it was he replaced the head of the Hamad International airport so that the project can finally start operating. Hopefully he’ll do the same some day for the courts.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

LOL your pat answer to EVERYTHING.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Ask and you shall receive 🙂

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Don’t forget that your own country was firmly on the side of the coalition of the willing and remains a steadfast ally of the U.S.’s war on terror. During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Qatar provided its American and British allies the largest base for military and intelligence operations in the region. In fact, the base in Qatar is arguably the lynchpin of allied operations, and is the basis of continued cooperation and friendship.

If this situation angers you so much, what steps are you taking to address your grievances at home? Remember, over a million people marched in the UK and even more protested in the US. How many Qatar? Is your name on a local petition calling for these men (along with other who aided them) to be arrested should they step foot on Qatari soil?

To be clear, I am not passing judgment on Qatar’s actions as a sovereign state. I am merely pointing out your hypocrisy in complaining about American and British leaders while conveniently not also implicating the leaders of the other countries that participated. 37 nations had troops in Iraq at the height of the war, and a large number of others provided large amounts of logistical and material support.

End of rant.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Oh, it’s you again. Yawn, not interested.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I’ll take that as an admission of your hypocrisy. Dodging real arguments is, after all, your forte. Well, that and quoting (sometimes incorrectly) other people, rather than coming up with your own quips.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

“Dodging real arguments”

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

And here I was thinking that the courts were a model of efficiency . . . My heart goes out to the family whose agony is being drawn out unnecessarily.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago

Imagine if the other case with the Qatari and the English teacher was delayed this long! God the posts would be over 120 all bashing Qatar!

Three real reasons behind the delays. The courts are in fact very competent, just like our medical care system. But like the medical care system, courts are so overwhelmed to the point of absolute failure… The justice system is literally one case away till judges start hanging themselves….

The Arabic papers reported recently how one judge proceeded over 45 different trials in a day and was unable to pass a verdict on any case knowing his verdict would be over turned and defendants would ask for a retrial or appeal due to the incapacity of the judge proceeding the cases… You go into the court and your sitting there for 3 hours waiting till your case comes up as you listen into the two dozen cases before you … By the time it’s your turn.. The f*cker defendant or plaintiff or witness decided he has waited to long and p!ssed off…

Another issue is sheer parking, defendants being escorted by police in hand cuffs are walking ten to 15 minutes till they arrive at the court building due to how far cars need to park. Worst than west bay!!

Folks are agreeing out of court and settling for so little just to avoid going to court.

Cheque bouncers and embezzlers are having a party knowing prosecuting them will take two to three to put them behind bars… The folks they rip off basically beg for settling out of court and trying to cut their loses instead of having to go through the courts…

There no quick fix unfortunately, you can’t just fly in judges or hire them from linked in.. It’s very tough to become a judge in Qatar… We all have to suffer … For a very long time… Or we can all promise to behave

My advice.. Avoid having the need to go to courts at any cost…

2. The Kenyan seems like a lunatic… No idea what’s going on but I’ll ask and try to find out.. Seems like he admitted to the murder but then withdraw his statement and is eating his own pooh in jail claiming insanity.. I can’t understand why three public defendants would drop him..

3. Most major cases are being pushed back 4 or 5 month.. Till Oct and Nov.. Intentionally so that all these high profile cases get proper due diligence and judges pass solid final judgments leaving very little room for the appeals court

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Sounds like an absolute mess that is in desperate need of a complete reform. If parking is holding back cases, that is a sad state of affairs.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Doesn’t sound like competence to me! You knock down your assertion of competence with your description of reality.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Oh dear. I see the problem. As you say just flying in judges doesn’t guarantee justice.

Maybe we need Judge Judy

Win
Win
7 years ago

The murdered victim deserves justice and her family deserves some form of closure BUT the accused too deserves proper representation to argue his innocence. I will never be able to understand the loss her family is going through or what the victim went through….BUT … I gain cannot help but ask … was a confession extracted under threats and torture ? Did his last 2 lawyers quit because of outside influence ? The accused too has rights.

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