British teacher's mother crowdfunds for Qatar murder case
The mother of a British teacher murdered in Qatar has raised $37,000 through crowdfunding for her legal battle in the retrial of a man convicted and then acquitted of the killing.
Alison Patterson, whose 24-year-old daughter Lauren died in October 2013, told AFP she was "overwhelmed" by the amount raised.
The family has incurred legal costs in the retrial by hiring a lawyer for the prosecution case.
"This has enabled me to pay off what was outstanding and have the money to pay for the rest," said Patterson from Kent in southern England.
"It's just amazing. It's lovely that people I have never met before are so much behind us (the family)."
As of March 24, the "gofundme" website page, entitled "Justice for Lauren", had raised $37,000 in pledges.
The retrial of Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah al-Jabar, a Qatari, resumes on Sunday in Doha's Court of Appeal.
The money raised will help Patterson fly out to attend the hearing and any subsequent court dates.
Jabar was originally condemned to death in March 2014 after being convicted of stabbing and killing Lauren Patterson and burning her remains in a desert location.
The victim was also sexually assaulted, according to evidence given in court, in one of the most high-profile murder cases in the Gulf country.
The court heard that Patterson had been stabbed twice.
Jabar maintained he had accidentally stabbed Patterson after a row between the pair that she had started.
The original sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeal 12 months later.
Last February, however, Qatar's highest court, the Court of Cassation, threw out the conviction and death sentence against Jabar, ordering a retrial.
At the same time, the court upheld a three-year jail sentence for a second Qatari defendant, Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz, convicted of helping to burn the body and disposing of evidence.
The young woman was killed after leaving a nightclub in central Doha with a female friend and the two Qataris.
The friend testified that she was dropped off by the men first who then assured her they would drive Patterson home.
That was the last time the teacher was seen alive.
Alison Patterson believes she and her immediate family have spent up to $85,000 paying for legal costs, flights and accommodation in Qatar.
The 51-year-old widow is hoping that the Court of Appeal will hand down a life sentence. "I don't believe in the death sentence, I would prefer if it was life imprisonment," she said.
Although the death penalty is still handed down as a punishment in Qatar, it has been 13 years since the last execution by firing squad was carried out.
© 2016 AFP