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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Judge rejects request to introduce new evidence in Patterson appeal

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Appeals court

With reporting by Riham Sheble

During an appeal hearing this morning for two men convicted of killing British teacher Lauren Patterson, a judge rejected their defense lawyers’ request to examine new evidence, and set an October court date for closing arguments.

In March, a court sentenced Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah al-Jabar to death and ordered Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz to spend three years in prison for helping al-Jabar burn Patterson’s body, as well as damaging and erasing evidence.

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdullah Al-Jabar
Badr Hashim Khamis Abdullah Al-Jabar

After the verdict was issued, prosecutors indicated they would seek a harsher sentence for Abdul Aziz while the defense said it would appeal al-Jabar’s death penalty.

Meanwhile, the attorney representing the family of Lauren Patterson said he would ask for the matter to be referred to civil court, where they could seek compensation.

All three requests are being dealt with by the same court.

The two convicted men – both Qatari – appeared for today’s session in prison jumpsuits and sunglasses that they eventually removed.

They were separated from one another in the prisoners’ box by convicts appearing in court for other matters. While al-Jabar appeared somber, Abdul Aziz could be seen smiling – a reaction Patterson’s family also observed the day the verdict was handed down.

Phone records

During the brief morning session, defense lawyers asked the judge for comprehensive records from two phones belonging to al-Jabar, particularly calls between him and Patterson’s ex-boyfriend.

lauren patterson

A compact disc (CD) of incoming and outgoing calls had already been submitted during the original trial, but the defense argued Sunday that it may not have captured calls made to a phone that had been turned off.

The lawyer alleged that al-Jabar called Patterson’s ex-boyfriend several times just before she died in October.

The defense has suggested that Patterson was angry at al-Jabar for preventing her from seeing her ex-boyfriend and struck him. This, according to the defense’s narrative, prompted al-Jabar to push her away in self defense and her to fall on a knife.

Patterson’s badly burned remains were found the following day by a Qatari hunter.

A prosecutor argued today that the phone records were irrelevant and that the calls – whether they occurred or not – did not change the facts of the case or nature of the crime.

He accused the defense of stalling in an attempt to prolong the appeal.

For his part, the judge rejected the request and said it should have been submitted in April during the first appeal hearing.

Family’s reaction

Patterson’s mother, Alison, attended today’s hearing and told Doha News that she was pleased with the pace of the appeal:

“The court process is proceeding swiftly and I’m being kept up-to-date on the case. I’ll be back on Oct. 26 for the next hearing. Coming back here each time is becoming harder, I guess because it makes the fact that Lauren is gone more real. It still hasn’t sunk in.”

Closing arguments are expected to be heard during the scheduled fall court session.
Representatives from the British embassy also attended Sunday’s hearing, but declined to comment.

Thoughts?

39 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

After all the negative publicity about various court cases in Qatar it is good to see this one is proceeding well. Maybe it is because they have a good judge this case seems to be handled competently. We all must remember that this murder is not representative of Qatar, murders happen in each country and all we can hope for is that justice is done at the end of the day.

Saffa
Saffa
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Hear Hear! I have to applaud the Qatari’s on this one. The whole process has been speedy and relatively well communicated. They have done a good job on this one, and one hopes that they use this as an example for further improvements in the Justice system here.

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
7 years ago

I agree with MIMH here – it is good that this case is proceeding quickly and the family are not being tormented by a prolonged process.

I also agree that this type of behaviour happens everywhere, and is not thankfully particular to Qatar. It is testament to the judge in this case that he is acting diligently and in line with due process – something that the family of the victim clearly appreciate.

I think we could open a discussion about the appropriateness of the death penalty in any circumstance, but perhaps for another post…

DB
DB
7 years ago

At least he appeared “somber.” Seems the consequences are finally starting to settle in. I’d like to hear the defense’s explanation of burning a body in the desert counts as “self-defense” (leaving aside the implausibility of the victim falling on a knife).

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  DB

The argument would probably be that they didn’t think anyone would believe them so they burnt the body out of desperation. I wonder what the outcome would’ve been had he just gone to the police and told them what had happened. I think there’d been a good chance for him to make up a somewhat believable story about how it was an accident.

Doc
Doc
7 years ago

Had I of been the Judge I would of handed them a further 6 months each for the crime of wearing sunglasses indoors. Do they think they are Bono?

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  Doc

how do you hand an extra six month for someone who is on death row? let him live another six month then off with his head

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  Doc

A better question would be how they had access to them. Surely they dont have these in prison?

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

You’re allowed sun glasses in prison

Saffa
Saffa
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Because they go so well with the (orange) jumpsuits?

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
7 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Don’t think they have orange jumpsuits here.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago

i still don’t understand how the other guy got 3 years only…. if he helped in burning the body he should get life… unless he turned on his friend giving the courts all the info they needed making this a fast trial and him getting a lighter sentence…
either way… if he took part in burning of the body he should get life in prison not three years… three years is a joke

dubious
dubious
7 years ago

“A compact disc (CD) of incoming and outgoing calls had already been submitted during the original trial”

is that tacit verification that phone calls made in Qatar are recorded?

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  dubious

you can get a record of all incoming and outgoing calls made and timing… not actual voice recordings of all the calls

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Metadata… 🙂

dubious
dubious
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Yeah sure, but why would that specifically be called out as being on a CD?
For presenting metadata to a court surely a printed or an on-screen format would be more suitable, the inference being that if something is presented via CD they are talking about audio. Of course it could have simply been a dump of call metadata submitted to the court, in which case the format it was submitted in, be that CDR, flash drive, bunch of 2d barcodes, printed list, engraved tablets, is irrelevant noise.
Or perhaps I’m just a conspiracy nut reading too much into things…?
In the end it is all academic since we know calls in this part of the world are in fact recorded. It’s just Qatar explicitly forbids the telcos from telling anyone so it was interesting to seemingly have it confirmed in court.

Vanessa
Vanessa
7 years ago
Reply to  dubious

I had the same thought!

Firas Zirie
7 years ago
Reply to  dubious

I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if all calls in Qatar are indeed being recorded and archived for a non-trivial amount of time.

dubious
dubious
7 years ago
Reply to  Firas Zirie

And your Internet traffic, although the sheer volume would mean that it was mostly just metadata and emails unless you are specifically being watched.

MoI’s shiny BlueCoat devices can even perform MitM attacks on SSL (as seen in Iran + Siria and no-doubt by GCHQ and the NSA) so that HTTPS bit isn’t as secure as you might have hoped.

Saffa
Saffa
7 years ago
Reply to  dubious

It’s just a shade more explicit than tacit 😉

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago

I know the answer to this, but I still can’t understand how this case has been dealt with so quickly and that the accused are in prison, while the American teacher’s case has yet to start and the Villagio accused are out relaxing by the pool and living the good life in Belgium.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
7 years ago

I’ve always wondered, how would one fall onto a knife? What an absolute load of rubbish.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
7 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

Indeed. It’s like something out of Naked Gun 2 1/2. The knife would have to be wedged between something with the blade pointing up.
The fact that a legal representative could come out with such utter garbage is bewildering.
My condolences to Lauren’s family.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
7 years ago
Reply to  Desert Witch

Ah yes how foolish of me to think it impossible!! My condolences to the family also.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

shows how weak there defence is

Saffa
Saffa
7 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

It’s the amazing, levitating, upward pointing knife offered by Victorinox, not seen one?

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
7 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Noooooooo. Wow I wish I had!!! I mean, did they seriously sit with the defense lawyer and dream that one up together. The lawyer, a man of supposed education, taking such utter tripe to a court of law. Wonders (like the floating knife) never cease to amaze me….

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

Just shows how the lawyers were absolutely desperate for a defence… If anything, their stupid defence only proves their guilt

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
7 years ago

Does a criminal or murderer really need another hearing…they deserve to be hanged….enough of this 2 criminals drama.

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
7 years ago

What if they are actually innocent, and the court has made a mistake (I am not suggesting that they have in this case) – I for one would not like one of my family members to be hung then it be found out later that there was a mistake – oops, too late, sorry… This is the fundamental argument against the death penalty – it does not account for the very real possibility of human error… And in a country where there is no oral testimony accepted from anyone in court, only written statements, there is an incredibly real chance that nuances or subtleties can be overlooked or misconstrued, which in a sophisticated world can make the difference, quite literally, between life or death…

Saffa
Saffa
7 years ago
Reply to  Doha Hack

Meanwhile in other countries there is an abundance of law and no justice… Money often can, and does, make a difference in major trials in some countries.

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
7 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Rather that than putting someone to death on the basis of human error…

Saffa
Saffa
7 years ago
Reply to  Doha Hack

This end of the world operates a very Old Testament style Justice system. Horses for courses, yanni.

Some people believe that the death of a single innocent by a Justice System is too much, I believe it’s a price to pay for a greater good. Yes I would be equally vociferous and strident if it was my own family member, but there are recourses that can be exhausted, after that there is only acceptance.

I am firmly against allowing people who knowingly trample all over the Human Rights of others to be saved by those self same Human Rights for which they, themselves, have so little regard. Hoist ’em by their own petard I say! Let them not languish in dry accommodation with 3 squares a day while there are people starving on the streets of the same cities in which prisons are located. If they have no wish to be part of civil society, remove them from it.

Often the abusers of Human Rights are the very first ones to shelter behind them….

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

I agree. Also, in many countries in the world that don’t have the death penalty, isn’t taxpayer money used to keep the criminal’s alive? To all those who want the death penalty abolished, I’m sorry, but I don’t want the government’s money, or taxpayer money, or any kind of money to be wasted on heinous criminals… Maybe the extra cash could be used for more useful things, like building schools, roads, etc instead

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago

in cases of death sentence yes, even when its obvious there guilty its still a very long procedure with many hearings, appeals etc.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago

“They”? You’re a judge now?

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago

Let this judge handle the Villagio case please 😉

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Bravo

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

And the poor American teacher, that was also brutally murdered…

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