US couple accused of starving to death daughter get bail

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share

An American couple accused of starving to death their adopted daughter in Qatar has been bailed after almost a year in jail, according to Associated Press.

Matthew and Grace Huang were arrested shortly after Gloria, 8, died in Doha on January 15.

Gloria is one of three African children adopted by the Huangs, who are of Asian descent but grew up in California.

A Qatari pathologist said she was emaciated when she died and her death certificate lists dehydration and cachexia - a rare medical syndrome where the body doesn't absorb nutrients properly - as the causes of death.

The Huangs admit Gloria had not eaten for up to four days before her death, however, they said her refusal to eat was based on a childhood eating disorder related to trauma she experienced in her native Ghana, where she lived until she was adopted – a rare concept in Qatar - aged four.

During a court appearance on Wednesday the couple were granted their first opportunity to defend the case, AP reported.

Mr Huang said he found Gloria on the floor, foaming at the mouth and barely breathing.

Seven defence witnesses, including expatriate friends who visited the Huangs’ house the day before Gloria died, told the court she appeared to be in good health and was playing with her brothers and walking up stairs.

The defence lawyer argued that it was medically impossible to walk around one day and die of starvation the next.

The couple was granted bail at the end of the proceedings but are banned from travelling to the United States, where their two sons are living with their grandmother.

"Though we see this as a positive step, their trial is not over," Grace Huang's brother said in a statement.

"Until then, our family prays that the hearts and minds of the judicial leaders will be pointed to the truth."

The couple moved to Doha in 2012 when Mr Huang worked as a supervising engineer on a water purification and recycling project related to Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

Their case has been taken up by the US-based California Innocence Project (CIP) which has launched a public appeal to generate publicity for their case.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Arab solidarity, fear of Iran bring hi-tech Gulf troops to Yemen desert

Arab solidarity, fear of Iran bring hi-tech Gulf troops to Yemen desert

Glitzy skyscrapers and 21st century comforts of Dubai feel very...

Wading through the Gulf's water crisis

Wading through the Gulf's water crisis

The GCC’s water shortage is life-threatening, according to a...

Revealed: the best Dubai Twitter accounts to follow

Revealed: the best Dubai Twitter accounts to follow

Live in Dubai and hoping to get in on the Twitter buzz? Here...

Most Popular
Most Discussed