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Wed 4 Dec 2013 03:08 PM

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Case delayed for US couple accused of killing daughter in Qatar

Prosecutors claim that Huangs starved adopted daughter in order to harvest organs

Case delayed for US couple accused of killing daughter in Qatar

A Qatari judge has postponed proceedings in the trial of a US couple accused of killing their adopted daughter until next year, it was reported.

According to the New York Times, California couple Matthew and Grace Huang offered brief statements in their defence at a hearing in the Gulf state on Tuesday following an adjournment of almost one month. The judge ruled however that written defence would not be heard until February 5.

The couple's eight-year old adopted daughter Gloria, originally from Ghana, died in January, six months after the Huangs moved to Qatar. The couple claim that the girl suffered from an eating disorder resulting from her poverty-stricken upbringing.

Qatari police investigators allege that the Huangs starved the girl in order to sell her organs or "conduct medical experiments on them". Prosecutors are calling for the death sentence.

The Huangs say that the evidence against them is flawed or nonexistent, and that it is underlined by racial prejudice and cultural misunderstandings.

The couple's lawyer Sami Abu Shaikah said that prosecutors had neither proved intent nor linked the client's definitively to the girl's death.

“We are disappointed and perplexed by the Qatari court’s decision to delay the legal process for another three long months. Our clients will continue to fight through the appropriate legal channels in order to demonstrate their innocence,” commented Eric Volz, the managing director of the David House Agency, which is coordinating the family’s defence.

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