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Qatar court sets March verdict date for Patterson murder appeal case

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Appeals court
Appeals court

In a final effort to exonerate two Qatari men convicted in the murder of British teacher Lauren Patterson, a defense lawyer yesterday accused prison guards of torturing his clients and holding them in solitary confinement between their interviews with prosecutors.

Lauren Patterson
Lauren Patterson

The attorney did not elaborate on his torture claim, which was not raised in last year’s criminal trial that ended in Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah al-Jabar being sentenced to death and Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz ordered to spend three years in prison for helping al-Jabar burn Patterson’s body, as well as for damaging and erasing evidence.

The 24-year-old woman briefly went missing in October 2013 after leaving a La Cigale nightclub with the two men, who would later be convicted in her death.

During yesterday’s appeal hearing, the defense lawyer for the two men once again repeated the argument that al-Jabar killed Patterson in self-defense and attacked Patterson’s moral character, calling her “promiscuous,” an “excessive drinker” and “irrational.”

‘Lacking legitimacy’

The defense lawyer has spent considerable time in previous hearings dwelling on Patterson’s drinking habits.

A friend of Patterson’s, who was the last person to see the British teacher alive before she left La Cigale with al-Jabar has testified that Patterson was not drunk that night and was in a sound frame of mind.

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

The lawyer also attacked the prosecutor’s handling of the case, saying he “convicted them without a trial” and that his actions prior to the start of the hearing “lacked legitimacy.”

He said the two men were kept in solitary confinement for more than 40 days and spent more than two weeks in custody before being allowed to speak to a lawyer. He also said prison guards would enter their cells every half hour to threaten and torture the men.

This would have tainted any statements the men gave prosecutors, the defense lawyer said.

He was also critical of a videotaped reenactment of Patterson’s death that was played in court last November that illustrated al-Jabar’s argument that he stabbed the woman in self-defense.

Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz
Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz

The defense lawyer noted that the prosecutor can be heard instructing the defendant to “re-enact what you told me” during their previous interview. He suggested al-Jabar was following a narrative constructed by the prosecutor and should have been told to “re-enact what actually happened.”

The attorney did not articulate any differences between al-Jabar’s video-taped account and “what actually happened.”

He also alleged that the camera was stopped at one point so police officers could take al-Jabar into a private room on the upper level of his villa for 10 minutes. While the defense lawyer didn’t speculate in court about what took place during that time, he said al-Jabar “came down a better actor than Omar Sharif.”

The defense lawyer concluded his closing remarks by saying:

“It’s the court’s duty to try and find every possible way to exonerate this Muslim man of the crime of murder.”

Prosecutor’s argument

The prosecutor opened by saying he had predicted what the defense lawyer would argue and that he had typed up a list of rebuttals in advance, which he submitted in writing.

He then rejected the defense lawyer’s critique of the investigation, later saying al-Jabar “ambushed” Patterson. Instead of driving the teacher and her friend to Patterson’s home as promised, he dropped the friend off first in order to take advantage of Patterson and “do what he did to her.”

“We are here in Qatar,” he said, tapping the judge’s desk with his hand for emphasis. “And Qatar is a country of justice. The person who gets presented to court and convicted is one who has solid evidence against them.”

Following yesterday’s hearing, Patterson’s mother, Alison, said she has seen “nothing but genuine honesty, clarity and a need for the truth to prevail” on the part of prosecutors.

Alison Patterson
Alison Patterson

She also took exception to the “attempted character assassination” of her daughter by the defense lawyer, saying he provided no evidence to back up his statements. She continued:

“Lauren was a hard-working girl who loved her job and spent most evenings of her time after work giving private tuition to pupils in their homes or studying to complete her degree. All of which can be corroborated, unlike the defense’s story.

While he attacked my daughters character, he forgot to mention that his clients regularly frequented bars and consumed alcohol.”

Alison Patterson also noted that the defense lawyer did not address what the men are accused of doing to her daughter’s body following her death:

“If it was self defense, why did the lawyer not mention them removing my daughter’s body to the desert by car, purchasing coal and fuel and burning her body beyond recognition and then going back to the scene to make sure they had burnt her body? If it was self defense, would you do that?”

During yesterday’s hearing, her lawyer asked that the family’s request for QR20 million in compensation from the convicted men be referred to a civil court. Financial settlements are a common feature in serious court cases in Qatar.

A final verdict is scheduled for March 23.

Thoughts?

26 COMMENTS

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AEC
AEC
6 years ago

If killing someone for being “…promiscuous,” an “excessive drinker” and “irrational…” was the least bit legitimate there wouldn’t be many people left in the world.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

And on that basis the men should die also as they were also promiscuous, drinkers and their actions and attitude were definitely irrational.

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I’m all three of those 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

OK self defense is a legitimate defense but calling a woman promiscuous is a huge problem in this part of the world. Blaming the woman and that she had it coming as she was not virtuous. That is a disgusting slight on 50% of humanity.

The prosecution argued that he murdered her based on the evidence not on the fact he had an apartment deliberately set up for illicit relations hence bring promiscuous

No wonder over 90% of suicides in Saudi are women with these attitudes towards them.

FalconFlyer
FalconFlyer
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Self defense is when you hurt someone if attacked, which sometimes results in a kill. In this case, these guys took her to a remote desert, burnt her body to conceal their crime.
From a long shot, this does not appear as self defense. No way.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  FalconFlyer

I wasn’t commenting on the case rather than what is and what isn’t a legitimate defense

FalconFlyer
FalconFlyer
6 years ago

“It’s the court’s duty to try and find every possible way to exonerate this Muslim man of the crime of murder.”

Defense lawyers statement says it all….
When will it dawn on people that crime has no religion. Anyone can commit a crime if he intends to.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

“It’s the court’s duty to try and find every possible way to exonerate this Muslim man of the crime of murder.”?? Seriously? Where did this lawyer get his degree? The court’s duty is to find the truth and give a fair sentence to whoever convicted of a crime, be it Muslim or non-Muslim.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Why are you surprised? Muslims put a different value on life for Muslims compared to non Muslims. It’s in the koran so it must be true

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Not really. Not in this situation anyway. Koran says also that whoever kills must be killed.
You seem to be very selective in the way you read Koran.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

You should see how she reads scientific journals

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Well as you know you have to take the koran as a whole you can’t cherry pick the good bits and leave out the nasty stuff. However Islam is ripe for it’s own reformation, it’s failed as a political idealology the same as Christian theoracy did and should be kept out of politics and the justice system.

AAM
AAM
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Leave religion out of it. Let justice be served in the right way. Islam does not teach to murder people.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  AAM

I think you need to direct that at the defense lawyer who brought religion into a criminal trail

Issam Boss
Issam Boss
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

A muslim do not go to bars and night clubs.. give me a break

FalconFlyer
FalconFlyer
6 years ago
Reply to  Issam Boss

In which world??

Gareth Walters
Gareth Walters
6 years ago
Reply to  Issam Boss

is that a sarcastic or genuine comment?

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

The defense lawyer makes me want to vomit.

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
6 years ago

What next??? Still awaiting news of his execution. This defense lawyer is a born joker

Agota Federico
Agota Federico
6 years ago

I HOPE her family finds peace and serenity , eventually !

Olivia
Olivia
6 years ago

This is disgusting, beyond disgusting. I thought the fact that the guys friend only gets three years was appalling… but THIS. There is not a lot in this country that can surprise or shock me anymore, but I cannot believe this is even being looked into. Absolutely disgusting.

KK
KK
6 years ago

2015/16/17 ?

Grantley
Grantley
6 years ago

My heart goes out to Mrs Patterson. She has lost her beautiful daughter in horrific circumstances and now she has to sit in court and listen to the diatribe being spouted by this so called ‘lawyer’. He is a disgrace to the profession and it is astonishing he is allowed to behave in such a manner in a court of law.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago

I hate to point out, but he wouldn’t be a very good defense lawyer if he said, “yeah, his guilty…” It is his job to come up with anything to try and keep him out of jail. I’m sure he thinks he is guilty, but again, his job is to try prove his innocence using what ever manner regardless how absurd.

AAM
AAM
6 years ago

Has anyone noticed that Dohanews are removing comments?

Jam
Jam
6 years ago
Reply to  AAM

I thought ‘am the only one who noticed it…

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