14 Nov 2012

Daycare deaths trial postponed again

4:28 pm on 14 November 2012

A criminal trial into the deaths of 19 people in a fire in Qatar in May has been postponed for a fourth time because the accused again failed to turn up.

The owner of the daycare centre where 13 children, including New Zealand triplets, died did not appear in court.

The defendants and family will have to reconvene in two weeks, on 29 November and police will be sent to escort Iman Al Kuwari to the hearing.

An official report found the fire at the Villagio Mall in the capital, Doha, started in the roof of a Nike shop when a light fitting failed.

Among those killed were Lillie, Jackson and Willsher Weekes, aged two years, the children of Martin and Jane Weekes of New Zealand.

A correspondent told Morning Report the families were not surprised that Ms Al Kuwari failed to appear.

She says it may be difficult for police to deliver a summons to Ms Al Kuwari, as she lives in Belgium with her husband, who is the ambassador there.