DOHA, Qatar, Apr 14 – A Kenyan security guard was sentenced to life in prison by a Qatari court on Tuesday for the murder of American teacher Jennifer Brown in 2012.
Alvine Moseti Anyona is expected to serve up to 20 years – a typical period for those sentenced to life in the Gulf state – and will then be immediately deported.
The court had offered Brown’s Pennsylvania-based family the option to choose the death penalty as a punishment but they declined, saying they were “not cruel”.
Brown, 40, was murdered in her company-provided home in November 2012.
She had only arrived in energy-rich Qatar two months earlier to teach at the English Modern School in the city of Al-Wakrah.
Anyona, who is married and has a young daughter, confessed to the murder.
But a friend of the defendant who was in court on Tuesday and wished to remain anonymous said that the Kenyan would appeal the verdict.
“He told me he was beaten and he had to admit it. He confessed under duress,” said the friend.
Anyona was not in the courtroom to hear the verdict.
The case has moved slowly through the Qatari legal system and was adjourned several times.
It was one of two high-profile murder cases involving foreign teachers that have recently passed through the Qatari legal system.
Last month, Qatar’s Court of Appeal upheld a death sentence against a local man convicted of the 2013 murder of British school teacher Lauren Patterson.