They were found guilty
Qatari court finds American couple guilty in death of adopted daughter
By Riham Sheble, CNN
updated 11:16 AM EDT, Thu March 27, 2014
Qatar: U.S. couple found guilty in death of adopted daughter
- The couple has two weeks to appeal the verdict
- The Huangs deny charges of killing their daughter, who died in January last year
Doha, Qatar (CNN) -- A Qatari judge sentenced
California couple Grace and Matthew Huang to three years in prison after
they were found guilty in the death of their 8-year-old adopted daughter.
"We have just been
wrongfully convicted and we feel as if we are being kidnapped by the
Qatar judicial system," a distraught Matthew Huang told reporters
outside the court Thursday. "This verdict is wrong and appears to be
nothing more a than an effort to save face."
The couple was accused of
murdering their daughter, Gloria, by starving her to death. But the
judge did not specify the exact charge for which they were convicted.
The judge's order calls for the couple's deportation after the serve their sentence. They were also fined about $4,120 each.
The couple has two weeks to appeal the verdict.
The Huangs deny charges of killing their daughter, who died in January last year.
"The prosecutor accused
us of trafficking our legal adopted children with the intent of selling
their organs. That is how ridiculous this is," Matthew Huang said
outside the courtroom. "So we are calling on the United States President
Obama to call the head of state in Qatar."
But prosecutors argued that the evidence proved the couple deliberately starved Gloria.
neglecting to take her to a doctor when they found out she had not eaten
for days, the couple caused her death, prosecutors said.
presented to the court concluded that the victim died of starvation and
that her body was emaciated, the prosecution said. It added that
witnesses testified the girl was locked up in her room and was deprived
Defense lawyer Sami Abou-Sheikha, who asked for an acquittal, said Gloria died of other reasons.
Referring to the same
reports as the prosecution, he said the girl had an inflamed pancreas
and lung, stool that showed traces of food, and her bladder retained
Gloria always had water bottles in her room and had access to water from the bathroom in her room, the attorney said.
The couple's two other sons returned to the United States after their parents' arrest.