The appeal hearing for two men convicted in the murder of British teacher Lauren Patterson stalled yesterday as a defense lawyer continued to press the judge to summon more witnesses.
After a lengthy deliberation behind closed doors, the judge agreed to have the court officially request the appearance of Patterson’s ex-boyfriend, as well as a female friend who was with Patterson the night she died, at the next hearing.
Defense attorneys representing the two convicted men have repeatedly attempted to draw Patterson’s ex-boyfriend into the trial without offering any explanation as to how he may be connected to the 24-year-old woman’s death.
In addition to requesting the ex-boyfriend’s presence in court, the defense lawyer asked for records showing SMS and WhatsApp messages between the man and Patterson to illustrate the kindergarten teacher’s “emotional and psychological state” at the time.
Previous defense lawyers have tried to argue that one of the men convicted in Patterson’s murder tried to call her ex-boyfriend the night she was killed, but that the calls weren’t captured in phone records because the man’s mobile phone was switched off.
That theory has never been proven, and prosecutors have previously argued that it would be irrelevant even if true.
The other witness was a friend of Patterson who previously testified during the criminal trial in January that ended with the conviction of two men in connection with Patterson’s death.
Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah al-Jabar was sentenced to death for the woman’s murder, while his friend, Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz, was sentenced to three years in prison for helping Al-Jabar burn Patterson’s body as well as damaging and erasing evidence.
Patterson’s female friend testified that she, Patterson and the two men left La Cigale Hotel around 3:30am on Oct. 12, after having some drinks. Responding to questions, she firmly said Patterson was not drunk, and aware of her surroundings.
The two men dropped the friend off and promised to take Patterson home.
Instead, the men were alleged to have taken the woman to a house that al-Jabar used for sexual trysts with women, where he “conquered her body” and killed her by stabbing her twice.
Shortly after being arrested, al-Jabar told investigators that he and Patterson had consensual sex before she flew into a rage and attacked him with a knife that eventually pierced her body during a scuffle. Defense lawyers would later argue in court that Patterson fell on the knife.
Her smoldering remains were found in the desert outside of Doha, shortly after she had gone missing.
While the criminal trial of al-Jabar and Abdul Aziz came to a speedy conclusion some five months after Patterson’s death, the appeal hearing is about to enter its ninth month.
Patterson’s mother, Alison, comes to Qatar from the UK to attend each session and told Doha News that she found the recent lack of progress is distressing.
“I feel emotionally drained and saddened that this is happening, when before things were progressing. I now feel this is a delaying tactic by the defense…
Each time I come here it takes its toll on myself and my children friends and family – but it also makes me more resolute to attend every hearing until justice finally prevails for Lauren.”
The next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 18.