A Vietnamese expat was sentenced to 15 years in jail by a Doha court yesterday for murdering a Syrian man who was trying to stop him from stealing a safe.
Ho Boo Trung, now 28, was found guilty of stabbing Marwan Hakam al-Dirawi once in the stomach in July 2008 after the victim saw him walking down a road with a stolen safe and asked about it.
Five accomplices, also Vietnamese, were given jail terms of five years in connection with the incident, and a seventh man was given a six-month sentence.
However, all have been in jail since 2008, so the six men are expected to be released and deported after Eid for time served, a legal consultant on the case said. It is unclear if any of them would be entitled to compensation for the long detention, given the outcome of the case.
The defendants’ names are:
- Trinh Tien Minh, 28;
- Pam Van Huan, 32;
- Diong Tahanah Tihidung, 27;
- Pham Ngoc Son, 40;
- Nguyen Ahn Tuan, 29 and
- Von Van Son, 27.
Trung, who was also ordered to pay QR200,000 in blood money to the victim’s family, will be transferred from a temporary detention center in Al Rayyan to Central Prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.
While under the law, the charge for first-degree murder in Qatar is the death penalty, this can be reduced to a maximum of 15 years in jail if the court changes the charge from murder to a less one, such as manslaughter. Additionally, a victim’s family can accept blood money and agree to the reduced sentence.
A combination of the two may have been at play in this case, the legal source said.
Night of the attack
According to prosecution documents seen by Doha News, Trung and some of his friends had been eating and drinking at a friend’s house in the Industrial Area on the night of July 3, 2008, then went for a walk.
The men testified that they made a spur-of-the-moment decision to rob Al-Shahwani Fire Protection Company. Using a screw, Huan broke into the building, while Trung, Minh and Tuan found the safe.
Unable to move it, they called on the remaining accomplices for help.
The seven men, plus an unnamed eighth man who was not on trial, removed the safe and were carrying it down the road when they were spotted and stopped by al-Dirawi, who was driving by at the time with two friends.
Al-Dirawi, who was around 21 at the time of the attack, challenged the group, asking them about the safe and where they got it from.
The men claim that they spotted one of al-Dirawi’s friends carrying a knife, although he didn’t use it. In fear, most of the men fled, but Trung ran to a friend’s house to get a knife for himself.
When he returned, he got in a tussle with al-Dirawi’s friends, and stabbed al-Dirawi once in the stomach.
In a statement, Son said that Trung had attacked al-Dirawi after he threatened to call the police. The victim walked about 10 meters before falling to the ground. He later died.
Trung fled the scene, while his friends returned to retrieve the safe, which they had dumped nearby. There was no money in it, only passports and documents.
Trung was later arrested by police in his house in Umm Salal Mohammad and confessed to the stabbing, saying he was afraid the victim would take the safe from him. He also said he had only wanted to scare al-Dirawi, not to kill him.
According to the legal documents, Trung, Minh, Huan and Tuan had also tried to break in to another office earlier in the same night, but couldn’t get in.
All seven defendants, who are blue-collar workers, were charged under the penal code, Law 11 of 2004, and Law 14 of 1999 on ammunition, weapons and explosives. The charges included robbery, breaking and entering and carrying unlicensed weapons (including the knife).
The Vietnamese men, who appeared in court in non-prison attire, looked relieved when their sentences were handed down. There was no translator in court, although it is believed the men speak some Arabic.
It is understood that at least some of the convicted men converted to Islam while in prison. According to the legal source, a Qatari man has offered to pay the blood money owed in the case of the defendants as part of an effort to help Muslim prisoners.
Trung has the right to appeal his sentence, although it is unknown if he will.
Meanwhile the Villagio murders are free and had their been no Kafala system such drinking and stabbing would not occur.
There beat you all to it…
When is the appeal date for the Villagio killers?
Late October: https://dohanews.co/villaggio-fire-appeals-hearings-postponed-late-october/
Well done, you’re learning 😉
Did DN write anything about that Indian in RasGas yet? or maybe that doesn’t serve their agenda.
Tell me more about this, I haven’t heard this story yet.
An Indian IT guy in RasGas got terminated and he is in police custody as well i think for posting an Extreme message against Gaza and Muslims in general.
In his blog he wrote something like “112 muslims equal 1 jew,3 jew equal 336 muslims,law of the jew is they get 5 times what is theirs,so 1600 muslims should die before you cry/grieve..till then sit silent”…he was reported to MOI,RasGas took action immediately for tarnishing image of the company.
Oh wow, no way! I hadn’t heard about that. Thanks for sharing. Wow, that wasn’t very smart of that guy to do that…
I only have the info provided in this article, and I know you’re trying for sarcasm, but isn’t it an assumption to say they were drinking alcohol? The article says “eating and drinking,” which very well could be a yummy fruit juice cocktail, right? Some people don’t need to drink alcohol to behave badly.
Dude relax where in my post did I say drinking alcohol ?? I said drinking too… I say they got a red bull high
True enough…. To be fair though, your post began with a couple common expat complaints, so it definitely doesn’t take a scholar to read between those lines. I’ll agree to Red Bull high though!
I can only feel disgusted when reading that the greedy family accepted a reduced sentence for their son’s killer in exchange for a sum of money…
Greedy family is your opinion, not enough in the above article to support your disgust I’m afraid.
Many people around the world are against the death penalty or feel it will not bring back their deceased so they accept the “blood money” and donate it in their deceased’s honor and/or pay off any unresolved debt s/he may have left behind.
Was this the murder that started all those (untrue) stories about ‘cannibal’ Vietnamese?
The stories have been around for a long time, I imagine anytime a Vietnamese person in Qatar makes the news, it brings the stories back out
Curiosity got the better of me and I looked for it online. The story of the Vietnamese cannibals dates back to 2007, and at the time was actually reported as fact by the local press:
The rumours have been making the rounds on Qatar Living for a couple of days. The Peninsula is confirming the canabilism charges in this story:
Four Asians have been rounded up and produced in a criminal court on charges of cannibalism. They are accused of killing a colleague, also an Asian, and devouring his body, reports Al Sharq.
Rumours had been circulating in the city about a crime where a human flesh had been cooked and eaten. This has been now confirmed.
This is the first such incident of its kind reported not just in Qatar but in the region, the daily said. It pointed out the quartet chose to eat the body of the deceased to hide the fact they had murdered him.
The incident came to light when one of the four accused suffered from severe reactions after eating human flesh and was subsequently rushed to the Emergency Department of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
Doctors attending to him sent him in for an X-ray. The result clearly showed the outline of a human finger in his stomach sending the doctors into a tizzy. They immediately gathered their wits about them and called in the police.
The hospitalised man was taken into custody and confessed to having eaten the flesh of a colleague along with his three cronies. His three accomplices were soon arrested and they admitted to having committed the crime.
The foursome was produced in a criminal court with the prosecution demanding that they be remanded to police custody for further interrogation. The court immediately acceded to the prosecution’s demand.
Legal circles said they presume the accused may be extensively interrogated to find if they had been involved in a similar crime here before.
Meanwhile, a report published recently by an Indian language daily published here identified the four accused as Vietnamese nationals and said their alleged victim was from Nepal. The daily, however, clarified the nationalities were based on rumours.
“…sending the doctors into a tizzy. They immediately gathered their wits about them and called in the police.”
“… eaten the flesh of a colleague along with his three cronies. His three accomplices were…”
“The foursome was produced in a criminal court…”
Are the Peninsula outsourcing to DESS or DC Primary School these days? You can always count on Gulf Newspapers for appalling writing and using bizarre terms like “tizzy”. Gulf Times are the Champions at it, you could make a drinking game out of how many times per issue they write ” concerned parties rushed to the spot” or negate the term ‘the’ before using a Noun.
Six years to get to court and in that time they were in prison. What if they had been found not guilty? And yes, if that’s the way the law works then why are the Villagio suspects still free? One can only assume that Qatar has no interest in building up any kind of relationship with it’s expats or the outside world that isn’t based on money.
The murderer should have been hanged
for this cold-blooded killing. Pure and simple.
Why did it take so long to come to trial? Apparently the man confessed to the stabbing but only now the sentences have been handed out. Very strange.