Three days after being acquitted on charges related to the death of their eight-year-old daughter, Grace and Matthew Huang are leaving Qatar.
The American couple’s spokesperson, Eric Volz, tweeted just before 3pm that they were in the departure lounge of Hamad International Airport.
He later added that they had been escorted through the airport by US Ambassador Dana Shell Smith and that the couple was aboard the aircraft.
The Huangs’ closely watched case received even more international media attention this week after Volz accused the Qatar government of working to block their departure from Qatar despite their acquittal.
While he initially said a new arrest warrant had been issued, the holdup appeared to be caused by a pre-existing travel ban on the Huangs that – like in other cases of expats involved in legal challenges in Qatar – took several days to lift following the judge’s ruling.
The US couple was arrested in January 2013 after their adopted daughter, Gloria, died. The Ghana-born girl suffered from an eating disorder that caused her to binge on food and then refuse it for several days.
She had not eaten for four days prior to collapsing and being brought to a hospital, where she later died. Matthew Huang later argued that he thought Gloria would come out of her “hunger strike” as she had done before, and appeared healthy in the days leading up to her death.
A judge, however, siding with the prosecutor’s arguments that the parents should have sought medical attention earlier and in March convicted the couple of child endangerment, sentencing them to three years in prison.
They appealed the ruling and were cleared of the charge on Sunday. The judge hearing that case said evidence showed the Huangs were caring parents and pointed to discrepancies in forensic evidence that failed to conclusively determine how Gloria died.