30 Nov 2012

Doha daycare centre owner in court finally

6:18 am on 30 November 2012

The owner of a daycare centre in Qatar in which 13 children died in a fire last May, has appeared in a court in Doha for the first time.

In all, 19 people, including triplets Lillie, Jackson and Willsher Weekes, aged two, of New Zealand, died in the fire at the Villagio mall on 28 May.

Gympanzee centre owner Iman Al Kuwari failed to appear at four previous court hearings, but did so on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to criminal charges.

The next hearing won't be until 19 December, because the defendants now want judges to also charge Nike Corp.

An official report found the fire started in the roof of the Nike shop when a light fitting failed.