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Friday, June 18, 2021

Qatar prosecutor won’t seek harsher sentence for Patterson defendant

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In an unexpected move, a Qatar prosecutor has asked the nation’s appeals court to only uphold the sentences handed to two men convicted in last year’s murder of British teacher Lauren Patterson.

In March, Doha’s lower criminal court sentenced Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah al-Jabar to death and ordered Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz to serve 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

The death penalty has not been carried out in Qatar in more than a decade, although the sentence is still handed out by the country’s courts.

Patterson, 24, went missing briefly last October, and was last seen alive in a car with the defendants.

The prosecutor told the lower 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.

Patterson’s smoldering remains were found by a Qatari hunter a day later.

Previously, the Patterson family’s defense attorney had expressed hope that the prosecutor would seek a harsher penalty for Abdul Aziz.

Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz
Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz

Following the lower court trial, 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.”

Confusion

Today’s session was brief, with defense lawyers once again asking the judge for comprehensive records from two phones belonging to al-Jabar, particularly calls between him and Patterson’s ex-boyfriend.

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

The judge, who rejected that request during the last appellate hearing in June, is expected to rule on it again when the case resumes next month. A verdict date is also expected to be decided then.

Speaking to Doha News, Alison Patterson, who does not live in Qatar but flew here to attend today’s session, expressed dissatisfaction with today’s proceedings:

“I am disappointed that we have got to come back on Nov. 23. We had hopes as a family that today’s hearing would bring some kind of closure for us all. Everyone is still struggling to come to terms with what has happened to Lauren.

There is a feeling of not fully understanding anything that happens in the court. At the last hearing we were led to believe that the defense’s request regarding (alleged) calls made by the first defendant to Lauren’s ex-boyfriend were irrelevant as it does not change what he did.”

Alison Patterson said the cost of coming to Qatar to attend the court hearings has placed her under significant financial stress, to the point that she may be forced to sell her home. She added that her extended absences from the UK is also taking an emotional toll on her other children.

The family, along with Lauren Patterson’s friends, recently marked the one-year anniversary of her death at a church in her hometown of West Malling in the UK. Following a service, a single white dove was released in memory of the young woman.

The same day, a tree was also planted outside a school in Luxembourg where the British teacher used to work, Alison Patterson said. Several friends and former work colleagues visited the tree to pay their respects and lay flowers.

“She was a very popular and much-loved person,” she said.

Here in Doha, friends of Lauren Patterson released several sky lanterns into the sky to mark the solemn anniversary.

Thoughts?

7 COMMENTS

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hohum
hohum
6 years ago

Having spent time in a Qatari jail after being falsely accused of raping a nine year old student I am amazed that somebody, who assisted a rapist and murderer, callously burnt Lauren’s body to pervert the course of justice, only gets 3 years. There are many people inside the capital facility spending far greater time for cases in which they can not prove their innocence or for petty crime. How a person found guilty of such a crime does not receive a greater sentence is beyond me unless bias towards nationality is taken into account.

Doua Ben
Doua Ben
6 years ago
Reply to  hohum

Your last sentence might unfortunately be true ….

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

If you picked up a Koran and threw it across the room you would get 7 years as an omnipotent God needs protecting.

If you get a call from a friend to help dispose of a body, you dig a small hole and then set fire to that body you get 3 years. Perverting the course of justice, aiding and abetting a murder after the fact and destruction of evidence.

Hmm, makes perfect sense to me…..

KingOfKings
KingOfKings
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Well yeah!… didn’t you that “God” himself gets a secret pleasure out of that? He is so powerful to have made us all, along with the universe and all, but that is where his powers stop apparently 🙂

KingOfKings
KingOfKings
6 years ago

Typical Qatar. The law on applies on certain people.
No process or written rules and everything is dealt with according to someone’s personal opinion.

Parwaiz Win
Parwaiz Win
6 years ago

3 years !!?? Life sentence should be the sentence. He abetted in the rape, murder and disposing of evidence..and all he gets is 3 years !!?? WTF !!

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

We reading all reports of injustice and inequality and abuses of human rights you have to bear in mind that the Qatari nation, in everything that it does, and despite its bleating words, doesn’t actually care one jot about what the outside world thinks of it.

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