The mother of murdered British teacher Lauren Patterson said she is dismayed to learn that one of two men convicted in relation to her daughter’s killing has been released from prison after serving his sentence.
Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz was found guilty of helping to burn Patterson’s body and damage evidence and sentenced to three years in prison.
The short length of his term was widely criticized by relatives and supporters of Patterson, who was 24 years old when she died.
In Qatar, inmates only serve nine months behind bars for every year they are sentenced to jail. This means that Abdul Aziz was likely scheduled to be released in March or April.
Patterson’s mother, Alison, told Doha News this week that her lawyer in Qatar, Sami Abu Sheikha, confirmed that Abdul Aziz is no longer in custody.
“It is extremely distressing to think that now he may be free, walking amongst the population of Qatar, possibly out socializing alongside other people’s daughters (and) sisters.
He has shown no remorse ever for his part in burning her body beyond recognition … I find him incredibly frightening.”
Lauren Patterson was last seen alive in October 2013 while leaving a La Cigale nightclub with Abdul Aziz and his friend, Badr Hashim Al-Jabar.
Alison Patterson was in Qatar yesterday for the beginning of the retrial of Al-Jaber.
Al-Jabar was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in March 2014, a ruling that was upheld by Qatar’s Court of Appeal a year later.
However, Qatar’s highest court threw out the verdict earlier this year and ordered a new trial for Al-Jabar.
Al-Jabar is accused of taking Patterson to a home he used for sexual trysts with women, “conquering her body,” and killing her by stabbing her twice.
Prosecutors have argued Al-Jabar and Abdul Aziz then put Patterson’s body in the trunk of a car and drove to a farm in Al-Kharrara, where they burned her remains.
The defense have maintained that Patterson’s death had been an accident, and said confessions obtained from the two men on trial were coerced.
Re-enactment to be played
The first hearing in this case was postponed in March because Al-Jabar’s lawyer failed to show up.
During yesterday’s session, the judge’s panel agreed to a request from both the prosecutor and defense lawyer to play a videotaped re-enactment of Al-Jabar’s version of events at a future hearing.
The tape was first shown during the Court of Appeal trial and was filmed under the direction of the prosecutor involved in the case, who can be heard encouraging Al-Jabar to recreate the account he gave in an earlier statement to authorities.
The video shows Al-Jabar engaged in a struggle with a police officer playing the role of Patterson.
Patterson’s family previously expressed concern that casting a male police officer in the role of the teacher gave the impression that she was a physical match for a person of Al-Jabar’s stature.
Additionally, they noted that Patterson was right-handed, but Al-Jabar directed the officer in the film to grab the knife with his left hand before coming at him.
The next hearing is scheduled for June 5.