By Courtney Trenwith
Qatari sentenced to death over the murder of Lauren Patterson last year has convinced an appeals court to allow new evidence to be presented
The former boyfriend of a British teacher murdered in Doha last year will be summons to appear at a court appeal against the conviction of two men in relation to her death, local media has reported.
The appeals judge agreed on Monday to a defence request that Lauren Patterson’s ex-boyfriend and a female friend who was with her the night she disappeared attend the next court hearing, in January.
Patterson, 24, was murdered in October last year after a night out with her friend. Her body was found burnt in the desert outside Doha.
In February, a court sentenced to death Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah Al Jabar for her murder, while his friend Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz was jailed for three years after being convicted of helping to burn Patterson’s body and interfering with evidence.
The men’s defence lawyers have repeatedly attempted to implicate Patterson’s ex-boyfriend, including asking for records of text and WhatsApp messages between him and Patterson to be admitted as evidence in the trial, Doha News reported.
The lawyers claim the messages illustrate Patterson’s “emotional and psychological state” at the time of her death. That could be used to strengthen their argument that Patterson had consensual sex with Al Jabar before becoming angry and wielding a knife at him.
The defence argued during the trial that Patterson fell on the knife.
They also claimed one of the convicted men attempted to phone her ex-boyfriend the night she was killed, but the calls were not captured on phone records because his phone was switched off.
Patterson’s mother, Alison, who travels from the UK to attend each court hearing, told Doha News the continued delays in the appeals process were distressing.
“I feel emotionally drained and saddened that this is happening, when before things were progressing. I now feel this is a delaying tactic by the defence,” she was quoted as saying.
“Each time I come here it takes its toll on myself and my children, friends and family – but it also makes me more resolute to attend every hearing until justice finally prevails for Lauren.”
The court has been adjourned until January 18.