Qatar court postpones verdict in murdered teacher case
It will be at least another week before a local court decides whether to find a man innocent or guilty of the “worst crime ever committed in Qatar.”
Badr Hashim Al-Jabr is currently on trial (again) for stabbing Lauren Patterson to death in 2013.
He faces the death penalty for killing her. A verdict in the case was due this week, but has now been pushed back to April 3, according to the victim’s mother.
Speaking to Doha News, Alison Patterson said she and several supporters flew into Qatar for yesterday’s verdict.
But the judge declined to issue a verdict.
Instead, he asked her to discuss with her lawyer whether she wished to opt for retribution, compensation or forgiveness regarding what happened.
“As you can imagine, I’m feeling very stressed out,” Patterson said.
Lauren 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.
Citing 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. However, the defense said that Patterson’s death was an accident, and called the confessions coerced.
Abdul Aziz served a three-year sentence for his role in the killing, and has since been released.
Meanwhile, Al-Jabr was sentenced to the death penalty in 2014. Qatar’s Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s verdict against him.
But last year, the ruling was vacated by the Court of Cassation, which ordered a new trial.
Victims’ families in Qatar are allowed to express whether they want a “blood money” payment of QR200,000, jail time or the death penalty for a defendant.
But no verdict has been issued yet. And it is unclear what impact Alison Patterson’s wishes will have on the court’s decision.
Yesterday, Patterson declined to share her thoughts on a potential answer to the judge’s questions.
But she previously told Doha News that she is against the death penalty and would instead favor a lengthy prison sentence.
In a December 2014 interview, Patterson said:
“At first, I was seized by passionate anger and I wanted both (defendants) off the earth, gone … But after this time and now when I think about it from a moral standpoint, I feel that I can’t be as cruel as they have been.
I’d be agreeing to exactly the same thing. Even though a murderer kills someone, they also have a family who would be going through the same thing if they are dead.”