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Alison Patterson

Lauren Patterson with her mother Alison

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.

Via Alison Patterson

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdullah Al-Jabar

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.

Alison Patterson

Flowers laid where Lauren Patterson’s remains were found.

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.

UAA Justice Center For Students

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

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.

Thoughts?

Victor/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Eight expats have recently been arrested for stealing people’s valuables in crowded areas, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) has announced.

The bust was made by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which formed a special team to respond to several recent complaints about pickpocketing in Qatar.

In a statement, the MOI identified the men only as “Africans” and said further legal action is pending against them.

Neha Rashid / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Police are now urging residents to keep an eye on their belongings, especially in crowded areas like public markets and bus stations.

They also requested people cooperate with authorities in the event that they are pick-pocketed or witness such a crime.

Concerns raised

Earlier this month, the Gulf Times reported an increase in pickpocketing incidents outside exchange houses.

The incidents were especially common during weekends, when large crowds visited the exchanges to conduct transactions.

Separately, the newspaper also reported that an increasing number of people have been robbed after being spat on.

Pixabay

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The offender usually apologizes, attempts to wipe off the spittle and then steals the victim’s wallet or other valuables in the process.

This has reportedly happened near Souq Waqif, in Al Hilal and Fareej Abdel Aziz, oftentimes after the victim has just visited the ATM.

Have you had any problems with theft lately? Thoughts?

Via Alison Patterson

Lauren and her mother Alison Patterson

More than three years after the murder of Lauren Patterson in Qatar, the case against her killer appears to finally be coming to a close.

Badr Hashim al-Jabar is currently being retried for his role in the October 2013 stabbing death of Patterson.

During a hearing this week, a judge set closing arguments for next month.

In 2014, a criminal court convicted Al-Jabar of murdering the 24-year-old British teacher and sentenced him to the death penalty.

Via Alison Patterson

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdullah Al-Jabar

During that trial, Al-Jabar had been accused of having sex outside of marriage with Patterson and stabbing her to death.

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.

‘Glimmer of hope’

Monday was the sixth session of Al-Jabar’s retrial, which was postponed several times after witnesses did not show up to court.

During the latest hearing, the presiding judge set a Feb. 26 date for closing arguments, Patterson’s family told Doha News.

The move was seen as a small victory for them.

Previously, they had been frustrated by the defense’s strategy to recall witnesses and raise evidence that had already been introduced during the first trial and at the appeal.

UAA Justice Center For Students

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

For their part, Al-Jabar’s attorneys have maintained that Patterson’s death was an accident, and that his confession was coerced.

Speaking to Doha News, the victim’s mother Alison Patterson, who has been flying into Qatar for most of the legal proceedings, said:

“(I’m) feeling a lot more positive that we are finally on a path that is leading to justice for Lauren. (I’m) feeling at long last that there is a glimmer of hope that the hearings could finish this year.”

Thoughts?