US couple remain in Qatar jail over child murder charge

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A US couple living in Qatar have been ordered to remain in jail on charges of murdering their eight-year old adopted daughter.

Matthew and Grace Huang, from California, are accused of starving their Ghanaian-born daughter Gloria to death, although the couple claim that she died after suffering from various medical problems and erratic eating habits, including bingeing and self starvation, Associated Press said.

Prosecutors allege that they denied food to the girl and locked her in her room at night.

A medical examiner from Hamad Hospital testified in June that the girl died of cachexia, a rare disease that causes the body to waste away.

Judge Abdullah Al-Emady ordered the pair to remain in prison until at least November 6, when their next hearing takes place. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty.

A report by Qatari police also raised questions about why the Asian-American Huangs would adopt a child that did not share their "hereditary traits", and theorised that the children had been "bought" for organ harvesting.

The Huangs moved to the gas-rich Gulf state in 2012, where Matthew Huang was working on water engineering projects as part of new infrastructure for Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

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