By Staff writer
Decision by Court of Cassation said to end lengthy court battle over 2012 tragedy
A Qatar court has dismissed an appeal filed by the defendants in the case of the 2012 fire at Doha’s Villaggio Mall, in which 19 people died.
The Court of Cassation – whose decision is final, local media reported this week – ruled that the five defendants in the case have to collectively pay blood money of QR200,000 ($54,928) to the victims’ families.
A total of 19 people died, including 13 children, four teachers and a fireman, when the fire broke out at a Nike store in the mall on May 28 2012 and trapped children, parents and teachers in the Gympanzee nursery on the top floor.
In 2013, a criminal court handed down jail sentences for five people charged with negligence that caused the tragic fire.
However, defendants successfully challenged the decision in the Court of Appeal in 2015 and they were exonerated amid public outrage.
It prompted Qatar’s general prosecutor to request an appeal of the verdict, which was, however, upheld in April.
In June, Qatar’s prosecutor ordered a new appeal into the verdict, further prolonging the legal battle.
The latest decision is final, it was reported.
The victims included two-year-old triplets from New Zealand, and children from France, Spain and Japan.