Qatar Acquits US Couple Over Daughter’s Death

A Qatari court has acquitted a US couple over the death of their adopted daughter who prosecutors claimed had been starved to death.

Matthew and Grace Huang’s eight-year-old daughter, Gloria, died in January 2013 and they were originally accused of starving her to sell her organs.

The prosecution had also suggested they were child traffickers.

The couple, from Los Angeles, were later charged with child endangerment and sentenced to three years.

A forensic pathologist told the appeal: “I found no signs of food in her stomach and the whole intestine, and I found no other reasons for death.”

But the Huangs maintained Gloria had died from an eating disorder caused by her turbulent upbringing in an orphanage in Ghana.

Crucially, witnesses came forward to say the girl was not neglected and they had seen her eating a day before she died.

“This negates the charge that she was prevented from eating, a charge that the court of first instance used as a base for its initial ruling,” the judge said.

“It has been a long and emotional trial for me and my family, and Grace and I want to go home and be reunited with our sons,” said Matthew Huang.

“We have been unable to grieve our daughter.”

The couple had been released in November 2013 until their appeal but were barred from returning to the US to be with their other two adopted children.

Matthew Huang had described the court process as a “sham” and the family’s supporters suggested forensic evidence collected from Gloria’s body could have been fabricated.

Adoption and multiracial families are unusual in the conservative Gulf state – where Mr Huang was working as an engineer on World Cup projects.

A Qatari police report had also earlier raised questions about why the Huangs would adopt children who did not share their “hereditary traits”.

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30 November 2014 | 12:38 pm – Source: orange.co.uk

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