Court Acquitted Owners of Qatar Nursery Where 13 Toddlers Died Only to Take a Share of Blame

Court Acquitted Owners of Qatar Nursery Where 13 Toddlers Died Only to Take a Share of Blame
Tue Oct 27, 2015 14:26:16

Families' anger from the court as member of ruling family goes free and judge says the dead must take a share of blame.

Families bereaved after a fire killed 13 toddlers at a nursery in the Qatari capital Doha have reacted furiously to the acquittal of the premises’ owners, accusing the judge of blaming the dead.

Sheikh Ali Bin Jassim Al Thani, a member of the Qatari ruling family and the co-owner of Gympanzee nursery, was among five people charged last year with involuntary manslaughter over the 2012 fire.

But on Monday, a Doha court threw out the charges, ruling instead that the company which owned the Villaggio Mall where the nursery was sited, Qatari Company for Real Estate and Commercial Projects, must pay blood money to the families of those who died.

The judge's five hour verdict blamed the nursery’s staff for failing to break through a blocked exit in order to rescue the toddlers.

“In the case of a fire, people don’t move slowly. If there is a hurdle in front of you, you pick up a child and jump and get out,” Abdalrahman al-Sharafi, the judge, reportedly said.

In the original trial, the court was told that owners and supervisors of the mall had been warned for years about its flaws. The nursery was not properly licensed, had not been adequately inspected and failed to comply with safety standards.



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