A Doha appeals court has commuted to life sentence and 10-year imprisonment the death penalty given to two Asian men by a lower court.
The duo had been found guilty of killing a 73-year-old local man and burning his body in a supermarket in the Old Salata area. The incident occurred on June 20, 2006.
Explaining the decision, the upper court said it had taken into consideration the age of the first accused, three months under 16 on the day of the crime and reduced his sentence to 10-year imprisonment while his accomplice, now 28, was sentenced to life.
The convicts, both Bangladeshi nationals, were found guilty of charges like setting fire to a populated place, practising sodomy “as a means of livelihood” and stealing QR750 from the victim’s pocket after his death. However, the upper and lower courts dealt with them as one criminal unit.
According to the accused, the victim used to sodomise them inside the supermarket where the alleged crime took place. “He used to pay us money in return,” they said.
“On the fateful night, he asked us to share QR80 but we demanded QR100. When we tried to take the money from his clothes hanging on the wall, he tried to prevent us.
“In the melee, he fell down and started to scream. We stuffed tissues in his mouth to silence him and tied his hands and legs despite heavy resistance.”
The duo said they then wrapped a tape around the victim’s mouth and nose in order to smother him to death.
Soon after the man’s death, one of the accused poured oil near the body and started a fire, apparently to destroy the body, the prosecution said.
A Bangladeshi witness told police he saw smoke billowing out of the supermarket early on June 20, 2006 and informed a Pakistani friend who called the police.
One of the sons of the deceased said his father had been “living alone” in the supermarket for almost 35 years.
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