Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mathew and Grace Huang: Qatar; The American couple caught in the Qatari justice system hope to be permitted to return to the USA following a court hearing on Monday. (October 20, 2014); The Huangs, who maintained their daughter suffered from an eating disorder, have denied wrongdoing in connection with her death and are fighting the conviction. CNN. (Must Read. HL);

STORY: "American couple held in Qatar in child's death may soon resolve case," by CNN Global Affairs Correspondent Elise Labott, published by CNN in October 17, 2014.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS: Matthew and Grace Huang were living in Qatar when their daughter died. They were imprisoned, later released during their appeal. They will find out this week if the appeal has been successful.

PHOTO CAPTION:  "Matthew and Grace Huang speak to the press outside the Court of First Instance before their trial in Doha, Qatar on March 27."

GIST: "An American couple hopes to return to the United States next week to be reunited with their family after a two-year legal nightmare has trapped them in Qatar, charged with wrongdoing in the death of their adopted daughter. On Monday Matthew and Grace Huang will appeal their conviction, which has garnered international attention and raised questions in the media about the prosecution and overall fairness of the Qatari justice system..........When their 8-year-old daughter Gloria died in January 2013, the couple was immediately arrested on charges they starved her to death. "It was a shock," Grace said. "She is our daughter." The Huangs, who maintained their daughter suffered from an eating disorder, have denied wrongdoing in connection with her death and are fighting the conviction.........A report by pathologists hired by the defense, obtained by CNN, states they found no evidence tissue samples were taken from Gloria's body after her death, despite the fact Qatari investigators submitted an autopsy report. Advocates for the Huangs suggested the lab report was fabricated and said their request with the Qatari judiciary for a formal investigation has gone unanswered. "There is no credible evidence," said Eric Volz, who heads the firm David House Agency that is also assisting with the Huangs' case. "In an objective court the judge should have thrown out the case."
The entire story can be found at:

See related New York Times story: "Advocates for the couple, Matthew and Grace Huang of Los Angeles, said their optimism was based primarily on a blunt statement from the State Department exhorting the Qatari authorities to “immediately lift the travel ban” on the Huangs during legal proceedings so they could reunite with their other two children and the rest of their family in the United States. The case has become an irritant in relations between the United States and Qatar, the wealthy Gulf emirate and a valued Arab ally. The State Department statement also urged the Qatari authorities to “bring the case to an expeditious and just conclusion.” It was issued in advance of a hearing Monday for the Huangs in Doha, the Qatari capital, on their appeal of a criminal conviction announced in March. “We’ve never seen such strong language,” said Eric Volz, managing director of the David House Agency, a Los Angeles-based group that helps Americans in legal entanglements overseas and has been assisting the Huangs, who have asserted their innocence. “I think the State Department understands it’s not accurate to look at this case through the lens of a legal process.”.........Mr. and Mrs. Huang, who moved their family to Qatar because Mr. Huang had accepted a construction engineering job there, were arrested in January 2013 after they rushed their comatose 8-year-old daughter, Gloria, to a Doha hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The police, suspicious about Gloria’s thin appearance and different skin color, concluded the Huangs were child traffickers who had starved Gloria to sell her organs. They accused them of murder. The Huangs contended Gloria had suffered from a chronic eating disorder, a vestige of her hungry childhood in Ghana. The exact cause of death was never determined. The other two children, boys also adopted from Africa, were placed in an orphanage. But in an early sign that Qatari authorities knew the child-trafficker suspicions were specious, Mrs. Huang’s mother was permitted to take custody of the children and return to the United States. Still, it took nearly a year for the case to reach the point that the Huangs could present their defense. Their lawyers found what they called glaring faults in the prosecution’s case, most notably a pathology report that appeared to have been fabricated. The original murder charge was thrown out in March, replaced by the lesser charge of child endangerment and a conviction that carries a three-year prison term. Lawyers for the Huangs are seeking to have the entire case dismissed in their appeal. Prosecutors are seeking a longer sentence."


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