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Friday, April 23, 2021

Families of Villaggio victims await blood money payment

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Flowers

Four months ago, a Doha court found five people guilty of involuntary manslaughter after 19 people died in a fire at Villaggio mall last year. Those convicted are appealing the verdict, which carries five to six years of jail time.

In the interim, their insurance companies were ordered to pay some QR200,000 in blood money compensation per victim.

But despite the judge’s ruling, and an enforcement order filed by the victims’ families in August, the payment has not been awarded. And though defendants were summoned to court yesterday to explain the delay, none of them turned up.

In the Gulf, blood money is an Islamic provision that must be paid if a judge finds a person guilty of causing death or injury to another person, either accidentally or intentionally.

Because the defendants did not attend court, a judge postponed the hearing over blood money to Nov. 14, a spokesman for the families said.

Speaking to Doha News, Martin Weekes, father of two-year-old triplets Lillie, Jackson and Willsher, expressed upset over the latest development:

“It’s incredibly disappointing that again those guilty of the deaths of our children & their teachers continue to disrespect them and the local justice system behaving as if neither exist.”

In an email to Doha News, another parent criticized Qatar’s courts following this week’s Supreme court ruling upholding a jail sentence for a local poet accused of inciting to overthrow the regime:

“It is astonishing and morally wrong that a Qatari poet can get 15 years imprisonment for writing a poem which some people may have taken offence, whilst on the other hand for people who have been responsible for the death of 19 people of which 13 were children , the punishment is 6 years in prison. Is this what they call the equitable Qatar Justice System?”

Legal challenge continues

In June, a panel of judges ruled that two Villaggio mall executives, the co-owners of the children’s daycare Gympanzee, where the 19 victims died, and an employee of the Ministry of Business and Trade were liable for the deaths of the victims. The deceased included 13 children and six adults – four Gympanzee employees and two firefighters.

Judges ordered blood money be paid, but deferred a request from the families’ lawyers for additional compensation in material and emotional damages to a civil court.

That case could be filed during or after the appeals are finished, Weekes said.

The first appeals hearing will include all five defendants, who remain out of jail during the process, and is set for next month.

Thoughts?

46 COMMENTS

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Vanessa
Vanessa
7 years ago

LOCK ‘EM UP! Shackles and a jail transport van will help them make it to court.

Dohadave
Dohadave
7 years ago

Disgrace… When is Qatar actually going to enforce its own laws ? What sort of pathetic individuals choose to ignore the law of the own State and what sort of State chooses to ignore such behaviour by its said citizens ? Is it because they are above the law and the law of the land is incapable of delivering fair and equal justice to all? If the answer is yes then this country does not deserve to be treated with the respect as we hear it’s citizen complain about… You earn respect in the eyes of the world by doing the right thing. Enforce the courts findings, stop disrespecting the dead and their families and stop complaining and deliver on the promises made to serve justice.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
7 years ago

I can just partially imagine how frustrating can be for those families and how the lack of justice is a constant element.
Not showing up by the defendants was another slap on the faces of those families….

Dohadave
Dohadave
7 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Frustrated? I think they will feel a little bit more then frustrated … I know how I would feel if I lost a member of my family in such a manner then to see justice served but not enforced and ignored by those found guilty. I would feel that the Qatar justice system sees no value in enforcing justice and no value in my child’s life, and no respect for myself or family. That’s what I would feel. That’s how it’s is … Right now … Right at this moment.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
7 years ago
Reply to  Dohadave

As I said, not showing up was another hit on their face, means more suffering. When I wrote “frustrated” it refers to the way justice or un-justice works here: frustration on top of suffering.

Dohadave
Dohadave
7 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

I know… My frustration was not with you. It’s with a system of law which can not protect all and can not act to bring justice to the powerful or connected who choose to ignore the laws of the State of Qatar…..that’s scary.

AAM
AAM
7 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

I attended the funerals of some of these victims & could only try to hold back my tears but failed. You could see the loss in their body language & facial expressions, was very very sad indeed. Qatar is inviting these type of acts & if nothing truly stringent is done, then expect more & more to surface soon.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Why are these people not being arrested for contempt of court? Is it acceptable in Qatar to just ignore legal proceedings as if you are above them?
How badly this reflects on Qatar that they allow these people to get away with such shows of disrepect to the legal system and ultimatley the government.

AAM
AAM
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Like I said with the murder case. There will be a long court case & in the end just “blood money” will to be paid will be the ruling. I totally agree that they should be arrested for contempt of court, visibly not practiced in Qatar.

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago

Disgusting and depressing. How can you just not turn up to court, another country would issue an arrest warrant for these people

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

Well I’m glad the judicial system has its priorities straight.

Lock up the poets and teachers, but let the child killers roam free. “Expect Amazing” is too true. I am amazed by this, just not in a good way.

Dohadave
Dohadave
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Your right David, I am getting myself worked up because I thought for one moment even after all the countless occasions the families have been let down justice would be served. I am also angry because people do wish to see Qatar do the right thing and enforce the law but again it’s all talk and no delivery, sadly a common trait.

Susan
Susan
7 years ago

Why is it acceptable to NOT show up at a court appointment here? It makes sense that if a defendant has a valid reason to not appear (e.g., medical emergency), such information/proof would be offered beforehand to the judge by the defendant’s lawyer. The number of times one can not show up should also be strictly limited, because it seems to be used as a delaying tactic quite frequently here.
But minus a valid reason for not appearing at a required court appointment, it seems logical and fair that if you no show, that’s akin to a plea of “no contest”.
So if they didn’t bother to show up yesterday to explain the delay in blood money payment, then I think the court should be empowered to immediately repossess whatever property they have and auction it off to pay their debts to these families.
Granting a continuance until November 14 simply rewards their bad behavior.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago

Disgraceful. They should be jailed and additional penalty should be added for everyday of late payment.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I can’t believe you got one vote down, must be from one of the disrespectful defendants!

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

we all had…especially if you’re saying something that makes sense!

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

You really do care about this vote thing, don’t you. It could be someone who just doesn’t like me, possibly thinking that I don’t really mean what I said there. Who cares 🙂

greg
greg
7 years ago

lets see what will be the outcome with the murderers of the british teacher.

Diego
Diego
7 years ago
Reply to  greg

Blood money?

greg
greg
7 years ago
Reply to  Diego

A bloody jail to let the culprit rot in there

Diego
Diego
7 years ago

If I remember correctly Dorje Gerung was jailed for 12 days because of accusations of minors.But here minors lost their lives and people held responsible can’t even show up in court or pay “peanuts” in blood money.

KJD
KJD
7 years ago

Perhaps I am misunderstanding the article, but it states that the insurance companies must pay the blood money to the victims. I don’t think it can be expected that individuals can be held responsible for the actions of their insurance companies.

Dohadave
Dohadave
7 years ago
Reply to  KJD

They where summoned to appear by the court but as is the norm here they decided they had more important matters to attend then gracing the courts with their presence, obviously much more pressing appointments then the needs of the law courts and the victims and their families ….

Diego
Diego
7 years ago
Reply to  KJD

And perhaps the insurance cpmpanies will say they will not pay until all is cleared legally.But then the court dictate says pay.Nothing about an insurance comapny. I am sure insurance companies didn’t exist in 622 AD.Therefore no more moral obligations, nor being a sound person, need apply here, unless,of course you offend.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

just so you know a child’s life is worth $54,794 but I guarantee the cars they drive are worth 5 times that or more.

Dohadave
Dohadave
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Do you really think they care about these families more then their cars? They don’t even have the common decency to turn up on time, at court, or at all. I pry to God justice prevails in the end… But do you know what? We all know that’s not going to happen don’t we?

Diego
Diego
7 years ago
Reply to  Dohadave

I dont even think they care about the cars.Insurance will pay or you just get another car.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

The U.S. only pays $100 in most cases for the civilians (many of whom are children and toddlers) they kill in Afghanistan. And they don’t always pay! But I guess that’s not an issue to you.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

That’s incorrect the average figure paid is 50000 dollars per victim, 11000 dollars per injury caused due to negligence by US Forces in actual payouts, check your facts. Your are correct in regards “to if they pay”. But you’re statement in regards to one hundred dollars more then paid to these families Qatar. One more thing .. What’s this got to do with the USA? This is about Qatar’s inability to enforce its own laws and bring justice to members of Qatar society who are connected.

Dohadave
Dohadave
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

That’s incorrect the average figure paid is 50000 dollars per victim, 11000 dollars per injury caused due to negligence by US Forces in actual payouts, check your facts. Your are correct in regards “to if they pay”. But you’re statement in regards to one hundred dollar payouts by the US military would still be more then has been paid to these families Qatar. One more thing .. What’s this got to do with the USA? This is about Qatar’s inability to enforce its own laws and bring justice to members of Qatar society who are connected. Think you should be more concerned about that.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  Dohadave

Excuse me; I read this awhile back about some of the cases in Afghanistan. I didn’t make it up.

Here, read it for yourself: “[On July 1, 2002, a U.S. AC-130 gunship attacked and strafed four villages in the Deh Rawud district of Uruzagan, killing more than 60 innocent Afghans and wounding about 120 others. The American troops which occupied the villages offered tents and blankets as compensation. A week later, the U.S.-installed and backed Karzai regime offered the Afghan wedding victims $18,500 in compensation, or about $100 per victim — the payments were $200 on behalf of each individual killed and $75 for each wounded person,”

http://www.twf.org/News/Y2003/1126-Claims.html

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Well that certainly excuses Qataris from not compensating New Zealand victims.

You there was this one time a Polish man forgot to pay a Spaniard a debt he owed. By your logic, neither I nor any of my countrymen should have to pay any of our debts to anyone ever. Brilliant.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

That’s you faulty thinking there David, not my logic; Desert Card said, “a child’s life is worth $54,794”. Seriously, this comment is 7 days old; get a life and go troll someone else!

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Person insults are violation of etiquette and a clear sign one has lost the argument. Either make a counter argument, accept mine, or ignore it. Notice I’ve not had to resort to name-calling.

And desert card is saying that according to the Qatari courts a child’s life is worth that much–a figure and situation that he seems to greatly oppose. Talk about twisting words . . .

Cracked
Cracked
7 years ago

I’m a firm believer in vengeance.

KK
KK
7 years ago

To the convicted : take up your responsibility and show respect to the victims and their families.

Lisa Clayton
Lisa Clayton
7 years ago

I’m always saddened to read about the Villagio fire and ongoing trials & settlements. But I was wondering if the insurance companies have a legal leg to stand on to avoid paying until the final disposition of the matter through all exhausted legal channels. Anyone know?

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Clayton

I think if you are high enough in the rarefied air, anything is legal in Qatar

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

Disgraceful on 3 counts. 1 that it occurred at all. 2. That the convicted did not attend court pay and as usual there is no consequence. 3. That an innocent childs life and parents life long day by day grief is worth less than a Landcruiser….shameful….

Anon
Anon
7 years ago

So sharia law IS fallible……well, who would have thought??! Why doesn’t the omniscient, omnipotent all-powerful creator of the universe just intervene and command the criminals to pay these people their dues? You’d think that being able to create the universe would enable you to intervene is such relatively trivial affairs.

Anon
Anon
7 years ago
Reply to  Anon

but then again, let’s check out http://www.godchecker.com……providing childish explanations and weak excuses for disgraceful human behaviour for more than five millenia!

Anon
Anon
7 years ago
Reply to  Anon

Voters down? why? come on, let me know! Seriously, I think I have a valid point, why don’t you? Bring on your weak dogmatic responses, these fingers are waiting. x

Ali
Ali
7 years ago
Reply to  Anon

lol you are pathetic.

Anon
Anon
7 years ago
Reply to  Ali

an impressive riposte, cleverly cutting right through my argument.

Oliver Smith
Oliver Smith
7 years ago

And people wonder why there is a ‘them and us’ mentality in Qatar.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  Oliver Smith

Not really; you might not be aware of it, but wherever you come from, chances are the same mentality exists among the various segments of the population. In the U.S. for example, time and again surveys have showed that while a majority of European Americans believe that racism is no longer a big problem in the U.S., most African Americans are of the view that race still impacts what jobs you can get, how the police treats you, etc.

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