A criminal court in Doha has sentenced a Qatari man to five years in jail for robbing a Nepali cab driver with two accomplices.
The defendant, who was convicted in absentia, was also fined QR3,000 for carrying a weapon “without a justification merited by occupation or personal necessity,” according to the written judgement.
Although the verdict was issued in December 2013, the incident was only first reported by local media, including Arabic newspaper Al Raya and English daily Gulf Times, this week.
Both newspapers state that the defendant is a GCC national. However, the official written judgement obtained by Doha News listed him as a Qatari citizen.
A little after midnight on July 1, 2013, the defendant was brought to the Al Rayyan police station for attacking and robbing a Nepali expat.
The victim, a driver, reported that three men assaulted him and stole his wallet when he gave them a ride the night before.
He testified that he had picked up two men, whom he thought were Qataris based on their attire, to drop them off at al-Sailiyya.
There, a third man hopped into the cab and they directed the driver to a deserted area. When he felt he was being ambushed, the driver started to turn the car around.
One of the men sitting in the backseat pulled the handbrake, which made the car lose balance.
The driver stopped the car and the defendant, who was in the passenger’s seat, beat him up in various areas of his body while the other man in the backseat tied him up.
One of the men in the backseat took the wallet out of the driver’s back pocket and together with his friend fled the scene.
The victim was left in the car with the defendant. As he was leaving the cab when al-Fazaa arrived, the Nepali driver said that he saw a small knife in front of his car and he assumed it belonged to one of the three attackers. He informed the police patrol of it.
It is not clear why the defendant did not flee the scene with others and how the police was contacted.
The driver stated that the stolen wallet had QR600, different cards and an unidentified amount of Filipino and Nepali currency.
According to the verdict details read by Doha News, when the Nepali driver was taken in for a medical examination six days after the accident, no recent or old injuries were found.
Testifying at the police station and before the prosecutor, the defendant denied assaulting and robbing the driver.
He also said that he did not know the two other men who committed the attack and theft.
According to his account, the defendant hailed the cab alone, and upon seeing the other two individuals waiting for a taxi, he asked the driver to stop and pick them up.
He confessed that the knife was his and that he carried it for self-defense purposes. He said that when the police arrived, he tossed it aside for fear of them finding it on his person.
Court proceedings on this case began in October 2013.
The defendant did not show up for any of the sessions, even though it was announced in court that he was notified of the dates at his “last documented address.”
It is not clear if the defendant was released on bail or his own recognizance pending the trial, and the prosecutor urged the court to issue its verdict after three hearings.
According to article 180 of the Qatari criminal procedure law, if the court is assured that a defendant has been notified of the hearing dates and has failed to appear in court, the judge has the right to give the verdict in absentia.
The written judgement states that the court found “nothing to prevent it from trusting the victim’s testimony which he delivered at the police station and the prosecutor’s office” and that it is “fully content” with this testimony as a foundation for its decision.
The defendant was charged under the Qatari penal code, Law 11 of 2004 and Law 14 of 1999 on weapons, ammunition and explosives.
It is not clear if he has been found and started serving his sentence or appealed it.
I’m trying to put this into perspective. So two Qatari school children accuse their Nepalese teacher who they have a grudge against of insulting Islam and he gets chucked in jail based on their word and only after an international outcry is he released.
However a Qatari national can beat up and rob a taxi driver and doesn’t even have to turn up to court, or to any of the court hearings and no one does anything about it.
Then we have the Villagio defendents who couldn’t be bothered to turn up for court either, who are then in the end convicted but then also allowed to leave the country.
Justice should be blind, but it appears in Qatar that is not the case.
Perhaps he has been appointed as an ambassador and duty calls…?
Well it is very strange that it took them 6 days to be seen by a doctor to check his injuries. If that is the urgency God help rape victims in Qatar.
Unfortunately, that is something that I have experience with. The police at HMC had no idea what to do or how to react, the poor young men seemed embarassed by the whole experience. Fortunately, a very competent Filipina nurse took the issue in hand. The police officers couldn’t seem to understand why we had taken the victim to HMC and seemed not to have been trained on collecting forensic evidence in such cases.
I was distraught that there would be any justice, but the perpetrator’s own words did him in and he is now (or was a few years ago) in a Qatari jail. It wasn’t an experience that built my confidence in the training of the constables involved.
Oh I am not surprised at all. A friend of mine had a car accident, she was the passenger, and they went to HMC emergency to get checked. She was in a very bad state, could hardly speak to us and the police officers insisted in getting information out of her. They even interrogated me and another female friend, and we told them several times we were not at the accident scene but just rushed to the hospital once we knew our friend was there. We also had to repeat several times that she didn’t drive, she doesn’t even have a driving license. This whole process went from the time she went to the hospital till the time she was brought to the ward – 4 hours police men popping in and out, asking the same things, and us giving the same questions …
Honestly speaking, after seeing many cases in this country and how those have been treated, I can only wish that nothing ever happens to us where we need justice … as it seems it does only exist for certain people …
Not it doesn’t. Courts had not resolved certain issues of mine with fellow citizens, so I was forced to take matters into my hands to get the results I was seeking. If the courts were effective for citizens I would not have had to resort to that.
That is beyond stupid. If the court failed to uphold the law, you must appeal. If the appeal fails, it’s because your case is weak or wrong. You cannot take the law into your own hands. That’s barbarism.
I highly doubt you know much about avoiding conduct that is “beyond stupid”in nature, otherwise you would have thought twice before responding with that drivel.
I did not state anywhere above that I had used illegal means to gain the results I sought, and this would have been known to you if you had requested I clarify on what I meant, as opposed to depending on your wild imagination for your ignorant presumptions.
I’ll speak directly to why I jumped to the conclusion I did – and the conclusion was the result of your use of language.
“…take matters into my own hands…” is a well-known English euphemism that implies vigilante justice, extrajudicial action, or other illegal means. I didn’t have to infer that you used illegal means; you stated it by using that phrase.
Either way, you still have a duty to respect a court’s decision and to appeal it to a higher court if you feel it’s unfair. Taking matters into your own hands does not make society civil, fair, or reasonable.
If what you meant is that you “worked out” a solution with the party you had a disagreement with, you did something entirely else. But “taking matters into my own hands” does not mean you did anything by agreement; rather, it means you imposed a solution on someone else outside of a legal system.
Do make a better effort to use the language correctly; words matter.
LOL! You go to great lengths to save face huh? Here is the definition right off Cambridge University Press, “to deal with a problem yourself because the people who should have dealt with it have failed to do so.”
Poor Cambridge have neglected to mention that the “deal” aspect MUST imply an act of an illegal nature, right? Perhaps you should educate them too on the importance of words! LOL!
You’re not aware of the pejorative usage of the phrase, which is extremely common. Moreover, the way you used it pretty clearly implied a situation outside the law, since, if a court failed to reach a settlement to your liking, what other choice is there?
Moreover, I think you took offense when I used the word “stupid.” What I was addressing was an attitude rather than you. The way you wrote sounded like you rejected a court’s conclusion and required you to take measures outside of it. That was what I addressing as “stupid” rather than you – taking action outside a court system rather than within it.
Anyway, I don’t really need to save face since this is anonymous. But greater understanding is worth the effort.
The least we can say is that this story is weird. How come the defendant did not show up 3 times and he gets away with it? Why was he left free in the first place? Where are the 2 other guys? How come the defendent stays in the car with the driver he helped the 2 others beat?
I mean seriously what’s this story? Come on @dohanews can you investigate this strange story further? 🙂
We’ve just heard about this case a few days ago. Court is recessed for the summer so will be hard to get new info until next month. But agree, a very strange case indeed.
With no clarity on almost everything related to this case, I would have been better off not reading this news item at all
So now that he has been convicted, will the police pretend they don’t know where he is and will he be able to travel freely?
It’s not like Qatar is a vast place and Qataris are such a large population that this guy can hide out and blend in if the authorities are seriously looking for him.
when it comes to justice, Qatar is a big foggy mistery
Allegations from driver seems bogus. If third person really helped other two, why he didn’t run away and stayed there? How he allowed driver to call police and didn’t throw out his phone if he really was attacker? Seems driver made false allegations to crunch the money. Such people must be thrown out from the country.