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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Four men stand trial over death of Qatar shopkeeper

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s lower criminal court has begun proceedings against four people accused of robbing and killing a shopkeeper in Bin Mahmoud.

According to court documents, the men had driven up to the shop around 9:45pm, made an order and tried to leave without paying.

But the Sri Lankan employee who brought them their drinks apparently grabbed hold of the vehicle’s sideview mirror.

Lower criminal court in Doha
Lower criminal court in Doha

He sustained fatal injuries as the car took off, careening from side to side until he fell to the ground and was run over.

The defendants now face charges of robbery and “willful murder.”

Tracking down the suspects

The incident took place in June 2012, but it wasn’t until recently that police were able to track down the men involved, one of the defendant’s lawyers told Doha News.

Officials first somehow managed to find the driver of the vehicle based on witness testimony.

He was described in court documents as an Iranian expat with a physical disability, who referred police to his co-defendants when questioned.

Three of the men on trial appeared in court yesterday, and one is expected to be arrested soon and brought to the next hearing.

Witnesses

According to prosector interviews conducted in 2012, witnesses had seen a Nissan Patrol speeding down a neighborhood with several passengers in it.

One said he saw a man holding tightly onto the mirror of the right side of the vehicle as it passed him. A few minutes later, he saw a gathering of people, as well as an ambulance and Al Fazaa officials.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Meanwhile, a colleague of the deceased man said he never came back after taking cold drinks out to the defendants’ car. He later went outside to find a gathering of people around the victim, who was on the ground dead.

Finally, a forensic doctor who examined the body said that he found traces of bleeding from the nose, mouth and ears.

He also observed skull fractures and identified this to be the cause of death, comparing the wounds to that of a person who was in a severe traffic accident.

Defense

The nationalities of all of the defendants remains unclear for now.

According to the driver’s defense attorney, the man has both physical and mental deficits, and needs to be examined by medical officials.

The lawyer requested yesterday that his client be released pending trial due to his poor health, but the judge denied this.

The next hearing will be on Dec. 12, during which the court expects to see a medical report for the driver, the missing defendant and witnesses.

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