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Via Alison Patterson

Lauren and Alison Patterson

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.

Via Alison Patterson

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdullah Al-Jabar

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.

Back story

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.

Alison Patterson

Flowers laid where Lauren Patterson’s remains were found.

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.

Via Alison Patterson

Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz

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.

Decision day

Legally speaking, victims’ families in Qatar are allowed to choose a “blood money” payment of QR200,000 instead of 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.

my_southborough/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

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.”

Thoughts?

Qatar Customs

Drug seizure

Some 15 officers in Qatar have been hailed after recently foiling attempts to smuggle a collective 66kg of marijuana, 8kg of hashish and 5,600 drugs pills into the country.

Most of the drugs were recovered at Hamad International Airport (HIA), where the General Authority of Customs (GAC) searched travelers’ luggage for the contraband.

Some of the narcotics were wrapped in carbon paper. This is because smugglers thought this would help it remain undetected by X-ray machines, the GAC said in a statement.

Qatar Customs

Drug seizure

The hashish meanwhile was found in secret pockets of two different bags.

Other drugs were recovered from Airport Cargo, where they were being shipped in wooden artwork frames.

Trafficking hub

As HIA grows into a world transit hub, Qatar is becoming an increasingly attractive route for drug smugglers.

The recent busts did not even include the most creative attempts to bring drugs into the country.

Qatar Customs

Marijuana in chilis

For example, last May, a passenger was caught after attempting to smuggle 332g of marijuana by hiding it in a box of pastry.

And month before that, a passenger was found to be hiding 11kg of the drug in a bag of dried chili peppers.

Thoughts?

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?