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Court of appeal acquits Villaggio fire case accused

Author: NRIcafe (Qatar), Published on: 27 October 2015

A Doha court of appeal acquitted five persons, who were held responsible by a trial court for the deadly Villaggio mall fire.  However, the judge ruled that the company that owns the shopping centre was guilty of involuntary manslaughter.  The ruling has enabled the families of the victims to seek financial compensation…The court asked the company to arrange with its insurance company and others to pay the blood money…[P]residing judge Abdalrahman al-Sharafi threw out the convictions against the defendants clearing them of several charges.  The judge said he cannot agree with the testimony given by the victims’ family members during the initial trial, arguing that one cannot be a witness and a plaintiff in the same case…The higher court’s verdict running into 154 pages means that no one will go to jail…However, the company has the right, said the court, to file civil lawsuits against its tenants who it thinks were responsible for technical faults that led to the fire...

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