Five people were convicted Thursday of negligence and sentenced to prison terms of up to six years for a Doha shopping mall fire last year that killed 19 people, including four Spanish children, Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera reported.
The defendants included two co-owners of a daycare that was consumed by the flames: Qatar's current ambassador to Belgium, Sheikh Ali Bin Jassim Al Thani, and his wife, Iman al-Kuwari, the daughter of Qatar's culture minister.
The assistant manager and head of security at the mall were acquitted.
All five convicted in the case will remain out of custody pending completion of the appeal process, which could take up to a year, Al Jazeera said, citing judicial sources.
The fire broke out on May 28, 2012, at a store in the Villaggio mall and spread to the daycare, killing two firefighters, 13 children and four daycare workers.
The four Spanish children killed were three brothers aged seven, five and two and a seven-year-old girl.
A day after the tragedy, Camilo Travesedo, the father of the three Spanish brothers who perished in the blaze, blamed firefighters for his sons' deaths, telling Efe then that they "took an hour and a half to (get the children) out, and when they did most of them were dead."
The small Spanish community in Qatar mainly consists of businessmen or employees of multinational companies. EFE