Qatar’s appellate court has convened for the first time to discuss the case of a British teacher murdered last October in Doha.
The two men are Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah al-Jabar, who was sentenced to death, and his friend Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz, who was given three years in prison for helping al-Jabar burn Patterson’s body.
The two Qatari convicts appeared in blue prison uniforms yesterday, and their counsel submitted paperwork asking the court for more time to review the case.
The hearing was adjourned until June 8.
Because the session was brief, the prosecutor did not specify the nature of his appeal, though Patterson’s family lawyer said he hoped the court would be asked to consider a harsher sentence for Abdul Aziz.
The lawyer, Sami Abu Sheikha, also lodged an appeal today, asking that Patterson’s family’s request for monetary compensation be referred to civil court.
Last month’s verdict did not mention any compensation for the victim’s family.
However, during the lower court trial, Abu Sheikha asked the court to award some QR20 million to Patterson’s mother – QR15 million for the pain her daughter must have endured before her death, and QR5 million for the emotional damage felt by her mother, who is a widow.
Last month, mother Alison Patterson told the media that “justice was served” in the case of Al-Jabar, but that she was deeply upset with Abdul Aziz’s lighter sentence.
“At no time did he choose to help my daughter or report the murder. In fact he did the contrary; he helped (Al-Jabar) dispose of Lauren’s body in the most callous and barbaric way.”
And in an interview with Doha News following the court decision, Patterson said that she was worried that neither of the convicted men would pay for what they did to her daughter.
Both men were arrested after Lauren Patterson’s smoldering remains were found by campers outside of Doha in October last year, shortly after she had gone missing.
During the trial, a friend of Patterson’s testified that the four had left a nightclub at La Cigale hotel together, and that the men dropped her home with the promise that they would also drop Patterson off shortly after.
The prosecutor told a court that al-Jabar took her to a home he used for sexual trysts with women, “conquered her body,” and killed her by stabbing her twice.
The defense had maintained that Patterson’s death had been an accident, and said confessions obtained from the two men on trial were coerced.
Notably, while the death penalty is still being handed out in Qatari courts, this sentence has not been carried out here for over a decade.
The Patterson trial sped through the courts in a matter of a few months. Meanwhile, the murder trial of another teacher who was killed in Qatar, 40-year-old Jennifer Brown, has stalled repeatedly.
A lower court hearing in the Brown case was held yesterday. But that trial has also been adjourned until June because the defendant, a security guard in Brown’s building, replaced his public defender with a new lawyer, who requested more time with the case.