Patience wearing thin for triplets' family
Wed, 14 Nov 2012 1:06p.m.
By Angela Beswick
The parents of triplets killed in a mall fire in Qatar are angry and disappointed that the criminal hearing has been postponed a fourth time.
Nineteen people were killed when the Villagio Mall caught fire in May this year, including New Zealand triplets Lillie, Jackson and Willsher Weekes who were in the mall’s Gympanzee daycare facility. Eleven other children, four teachers and two firefighters also died of smoke asphyxiation.
Doha News reported this morning the trial had been delayed again after the owners of the facility failed to show up to the Lower Criminal Court.
Iman Al Kuwari and her husband, the ambassador to Belgium, are likely out of the country and it was unclear whether police can force them to appear in court.
“The delay in the legal system is beginning to shed an unfavourable light on the country and the courts,” the triplets' father Martin Weekes said in a statement released today.
“Justice should be clear and swift. More importantly for us, the mockery the defendants are making of Qatar’s courts is prolonging our pain and grief as we seek to find the answers as to why our beautiful children were killed.”
Many of the parents of the children killed in the fire attached photos of their children to their sleeves and were visibly upset by the adjournment.
“We call upon the Qatar government to put an end to this insult and injustice,” Mr Weekes said.
“Once again, families and representatives from our governments attended court. We have continued to show more respect to the judicial system than some of the defendants.
“However, our patience is wearing thin.”
Qatar investigators have blamed faulty wiring for starting the fire and cited shortcomings in safety planning by staff at the country's biggest mall.
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28/11/2012 10:43:14 p.m.
halley haze wrote:
im in qatar when this tradegy was happen.. and i've seen in the news, i read some newspapers.. and we filipinos, my colleuage are very much sad, wishing that soon there is justice for all the victims..
21/11/2012 5:48:27 a.m.
Alison Week wrote:
o disrespect to the families, but this is merely one of Qatar's daily tragedies. I lived in Doha, Qatar in 2008/2010. I can tell you that justice regarding these families will never be done. There is no justice in Qatar. Qataris do not care about anyone else but themselves and they will use expat labour for their own purposes. I survived a fire in my apartment building and I am lucky to be alive because a neighbour knocked on all the doors at 2 am to wake us up. NONE of the fire alarms in the building worked. NONE of the fire extinguishers worked. We evacuated the building but it took three hours before the fire department showed up. There were three fires in the city that night as it happened.
Do you think the Qatari owner was taken to court or sued? And did anyone care about the Nepalese workers in the neighbouring building who died?
This incident is one of many HORRIFIC events that happen in Qatar. There are so many other horror stories that go unreported in the media.
My heart goes out to the families who lost their children in the Villagio fire. But I see years later that emergency standards and building codes go amiss because Qataris only care about building as many properties as they can to accumulate their wealthy real estate portfolio.
16/11/2012 3:14:36 p.m.
Cheryl H. wrote:
If they won't show, then start the trial in their absence. I'm sure their lawyer doesn't need them present to do his job, or they can be present via conference call--at their expense--in the courtroom. Whatever is necessary to get this in motion.
16/11/2012 12:41:23 a.m.
Maria Rensfeldt wrote:
I have no words :( but it is not over yet. Jane and Martin please stay strong and know justice will come to you. A whole world is watching and waiting for Qatar to step up and do the right thing. We are always with you on this. I am Swedish and I am emailing all press I can think of as well as the amassadors in Belguim and Qatar. You are always in my prayers and in my thoughts. XXX
15/11/2012 8:03:00 p.m.
Former Worker in Qatar wrote:
This is part and parcel of the Qatari legal system. I was hit in a horrible accident caused by a Qatari who never ever showed his face in court. I appeared and re-appeared four times before the court found us both guilty (him in absentia) of causing the accident together--him 75% responsible and me 25% somehow because if I just hadn't been on the road, the accident wouldn't have happened. Regardless, the Qataris have no respect for their justice system, and apparently having that passport allows you to completely ignore it.
I mourned for your loss the day it happened and each time I think or read about it, but I hope also that you don't pin your hopes on the flawed Qatari justice system, for I fear if history is any indicator, you may wind up yet again holding the short straw.
15/11/2012 7:38:18 p.m.
Gordon Bain wrote:
But hey! the Prime Minister of Qatar can take time to condemn Israel's latest palestinian bashing. Too bad the courts can't be loud and declaritive againt the AlKuwaris! Have faith Weekes and families.
15/11/2012 10:20:14 a.m.
Sometimes you just have to man up and take it on the chin..and if that means being found guilty of culpable homicide or similar, then so be it. So Al Kuwari and your husband put on your 'big boy knickers' and show up, face the consequences and give these families some justice PLEASE
15/11/2012 10:17:38 a.m.
Lorraine Hohaia wrote:
Absolutely disgusting!!!How this can happen..and families of the victims,are left to suffer..This couple are gutless,choosing not to face the families,and tell the truth..Hope Karma gets them big time..But that does not answer all the unanswered questions,for all concerned..Especially our fellow kiwis,Martin and Jane Weekes.
14/11/2012 3:34:11 p.m.
Dont worry, good things come to those that wait
14/11/2012 2:44:15 p.m.
This is outrageous. In good faith the Weekes' used that facility and it shows very poor practice that a fire was allowed to get out of control and kill those innocent children. The owners had a duty and responsibllity to provide a safe environment. Where are the owners? Are they expecting to get away without so much as a slap on the hand?
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