Qatar prosecutor asks for new appeal in Villaggio fire case

Five defendants exonerated in April for second time in long-running court case over deadly 2012 fire
Qatar prosecutor asks for new appeal in Villaggio fire case
The fire at Villaggio Mall in 2012. (Credit: Twitter)
By Staff writer
Wed 22 Jun 2016 10:27 AM

Qatar’s general prosecutor has reportedly appealed the latest court verdict that exonerated five people convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2012 fire at Doha’s Villaggio Mall in April.

According to a report in Doha News, the prosecutor’s decision – the latest in a long-running court saga to find someone guilty for the deaths of 19 people in the fire – means the case will return to the Court of Appeal after the summer.

The Qatar Court of Appeal ruled in April that the five defendants should pay “blood money” to the victims’ families, but that they would not serve time in prison for the fire.

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.

A criminal court handed down an involuntary manslaughter conviction and ordered jail time for up to six years in 2013 for “negligence” that caused the tragedy.

However, defendants successfully challenged this decision in the Court of Appeal and they were exonerated last October amid public outrage.

It prompted Qatar’s general prosecutor to request an appeal of the verdict – this was upheld, though, in April.

The prosecutor’s latest decision to appeal the appeal verdict means the legal battle will continue.

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