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Friday, June 25, 2021

Verdict in Lauren Patterson murder case expected next month

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Lauren Patterson with her mother Alison. Credit: Via Alison Patterson

The fate of a man facing the death penalty for killing a teacher in Qatar will be decided on March 27, a local court has said.

The verdict date was set yesterday after closing arguments were heard in the retrial of Badr Hashim Al-Jabr.

He was first convicted of killing Lauren Patterson in 2014. During that trial, he had been accused of having sex outside of marriage with the British expat and stabbing her to death.

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdullah Al-Jabar. Credit: Via Alison Patterson

Qatar’s Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s verdict in 2015.

However, last year, the ruling was vacated by the Court of Cassation, which ordered a new trial.

‘Closer to the end’

Speaking to Doha News this week, mother Alison Patterson said “justice for Lauren (is) hopefully getting closer.”

She added that her family’s lawyer spoke passionately during yesterday’s hearing.

The attorney called her daughter’s murder the “worst crime ever committed in Qatar,” and urged the court to follow the evidence when making its decision.

Flowers laid where Lauren Patterson’s remains were found. Credit: Via Alison Patterson

Patterson, 24, was last seen alive leaving a La Cigale nightclub in October 2013 with Al-Jabar and his friend, Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz.

Her burned remains were found hours later in the desert, along with the murder weapon, a knife.

Relying on investigation results and confessions from the men, a Qatar prosecutor previously told the court that Al-Jabar took Patterson to a home he used for sexual trysts with women.

He then “conquered her body,” and killed her by stabbing her twice.

Questionable confession?

Abdul Aziz has served a three-year sentence for his role in the killing, and was released.

For its part, the defense had maintained that Patterson’s death had been an accident, and asserted that confessions obtained from the two men on trial were coerced.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: UAA Justice Center For Students

Back in 2014, the court said the death penalty would be carried out by either hanging or shooting.

Notably, while the death penalty is still being handed out in Qatari courts, this sentence has not been carried out in the country for over a decade.

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