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Mon 28 Mar 2016 11:10 AM

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Qatar trial into Brit teacher’s murder descends into farce as defence lawyer fails to show up

Retrial in Lauren Patterson murder case adjourned in latest step in convoluted case

Qatar trial into Brit teacher’s murder descends into farce as defence lawyer fails to show up

The retrial of a man convicted of murdering British teacher Lauren Patterson in Qatar two years ago was adjourned yesterday after the defendant’s lawyer failed to turn up.

Doha News reported that the case at Qatar’s Court of Appeal had already been pushed from the morning session to the afternoon after prison officials had failed to bring the defendant to the hearing on time.

Defendant Badr Hashim Khamis Al Jabar told the court that he had only been informed of the court session that morning, and that his lawyer had not been informed at all, the website reported.

The case was adjourned, despite the fact that Patterson’s mother, Alison, had flown to Qatar from the UK especially to attend the trial.

The adjournment is the latest step in a convoluted case, which saw Qatar’s highest court overturn a guilty verdict for Al Jabar in February, and arrange for a retrial at the Court of Appeal.

Patterson, who worked for Newton British School in Doha, disappeared in October 2014 following a night out. Her body, which had been burnt, was later found by a falconer in a remote area of Qatar.

The prosecutor had argued that the 24-year-old had been taken to a home Al Jabar used for sexual trysts with women, “conquered her body”, and then stabbed her twice.

In March last year, Al Jabar was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. A year later, the Court of Appeal upheld that verdict.

Another man convicted of helping to dispose of Patterson’s body, Mohammed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz, was denied an appeal request in February. He has now has no further avenues of appeal and must complete a three-year prison sentence.

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