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Five convictions for Villaggio mall fire in Qatar

Four received 6 year sentences, maximum for involuntary manslaughter

NEWS, Business

Five people have been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the Villaggio mall fire in Doha last year that killed 19 people, including 13 children attending a day care facility, Doha News has reported.

Four of the convicted were given six-year prison terms, the maximum sentence.

These included the co-owner of the Gympanzee day care facility, and Qatar's ambassador to Belgium, Sheikh Ali Bin Jassim Al Thani, the co-owner and manager of Gympanzee and daughter of Qatar’s culture minister, Iman Al-Kuwari, the Villaggio chairman Abdul Aziz Mohammed Al-Rabban, and the Villaggio manager.

Also sentenced on the same charge was Mansour Nasir Fazzaa al-Shahwani, who received a five-year term.

The mall's assistant manager and head of security were cleared of all charges.

According to documents shown in court, Gympanzee was licensed as a playroom for children, not as a nursery. Civil defence officials and firefighters attending the blaze were not initially aware that there was a nursery or that there were children inside.

Al Jazeera's news website reported that all five are currently out on appeal, and will remain out of custody until the appeals process is completed. The appeals process is expected to last between eight and 12 months.

Blood money compensation of $54,900 (QAR: 200,000) was awarded to each of the victims' families, while claims for further compensation will be heard in a civil court.

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