Defence no-show delays Qatar murder retrial

27th March 2016, Comments 0 comments

The retrial in a high-profile case of a Qatari man accused of killing a British teacher was adjourned on Sunday after the defence lawyer failed to show up in court.

The case of Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah al-Jabar was adjourned until May 1 because of the legal no-show, despite the victim's mother flying 5,200 (3,200 miles) kilometres to attend the brief hearing.

Jabar told the court that no defence team was present as "my lawyer was not informed about today's hearing".

The judge then pushed the case back a further five weeks.

Jabar was initially sentenced to death two years ago after being convicted of stabbing and killing Lauren Patterson, 24, in October 2013 and burning her remains in a desert location.

The victim was also sexually assaulted, according to evidence given in court.

Last February, however, Qatar's highest court, the Court of Cassation, threw out the conviction and sentence, ordering a retrial.

Jabar maintained he had accidentally stabbed Patterson after a row which she had started.

Lauren's mother Alison told AFP she would attend the next hearing despite her disappointment on Sunday.

On her Facebook page, she described proceedings on Sunday as "a joke".

"Case deferred till the 1st May reason: the murderer turned up late spoke to judges saying he didn't realise he had to be here on this date and his legal counsel wasn't there," she posted online.

"Funnily enough I saw his lawyer in the corridor and this was confirmed by another party. Feeling upset, angry, frustrated yet again."

She has raised more than $37,000 (around 33,000 euros) through crowdfunding for her legal battle.

© 2016 AFP

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