8 Feb 2013

Daycare centre not meant to be nursery, court told

10:15 am on 8 February 2013

Witnesses called by the defence team for a daycare centre in Doha where 13 children died in a fire say the centre was not a nursery.

Two-year-old New Zealand triplets Lillie, Jackson and Willsher Weekes were among those killed at the Gympanzee centre housed in the Villagio Mall in May last year.

Correspondent Shabina Khatri says defence witnesses have told a criminal court hearing the centre was intended to be a drop-off place for short-term care of children.

She told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme this meant that the centre did not have to meet the stricter safety standards required of nurseries, so no laws were violated.

However, Ms Khatri says the parents of the children killed were regulars and paid monthly for their children to attend the centre.

She says some parents who lost children believe that the witnesses are lying and are upset by what they told the court.

The hearing has been adjourned until next week.