A judge in Qatar on Thursday handed down a guilty verdict to an American couple, Grace and Matthew Huang, and sentenced them to three years in prison in the death of their 8-year-old adopted daughter in a trial that has drawn scrutiny from the Obama administration and American legal experts over its integrity.
“We have just been wrongfully convicted and we feel as if we are being kidnapped by the Qatar judicial system,” Matthew Huang told reporters outside the courthouse Thursday, CNN reported. “This verdict is wrong and appears to be nothing more than an effort to save face.”
When the judge handed down the verdict and sentence, he did not specify the exact charge for which they were convicted.
“The judge read literally a few sentences with no reasons given. There is a lot of confusion right now,” said Eric Volz of the American non-profit David House Agency which is representing the Huangs. “They’re very scared.”
The devout Christian couple was accused by prosecutors in the Middle Eastern country of starving their adopted daughter to death in January of 2013 in order to sell her body parts, but a leading U.S. legal advocacy group the California Innocence Project which took on their case has maintained that the couple is innocent and that the entire case was based on “faulty science” and misunderstandings by Qatar over interracial adoptions and homeschooling.
The couple has denied the charges against them and maintained that their daughter Gloria, who was adopted from an orphanage in Ghana, died after battling a childhood eating disorder.
“The prosecutor accused us of trafficking our legal adopted children with the intent of selling their organs. That is how ridiculous this is,” Matthew Huang said after hearing the verdict. “So we are calling on the United States President Obama to call the head of state in Qatar.”
The Huangs spent a year in jail before being permitted to give evidence in their defense.
Their lawyers also accused the prosecutor of fabricating evidence from the autopsy.
The judge further fined them $4,120 each and said they would be deported after they serve their sentence. They have two weeks to appeal the verdict.
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SOURCE: The Blaze