Qatar rules that no one will be jailed over deadly mall blaze that killed 19

DOHA (AFP) - A Qatari judge ruled on Monday (April 25) that no one will serve time in prison for a May 2012 Doha mall fire that left 19 dead, including nursery-school children, the local media reported.

The Court of Appeal, however, ordered the five defendants to pay compensation to the victims' families in the form of "blood money", as laid down under Islamic law, according to the Doha News website.

Among the five is Sheikh Ali Bin Jassim Al-Thani, Qatar's ambassador to Belgium.

According to the Qatari government website, Thani is also head of mission to the European Union.

Thani was co-owner of the "Gympanzee" nursery at the Villagio mall, scene of the fire.

Many of the 13 children killed suffocated after a blaze broke out at a nearby Nike sports store, caused by faulty wiring.

They included two-year-old triplets from New Zealand.

Children from France, Spain and Japan also perished as did teachers from the Philippines and South Africa.

Two firefighters were also among the dead.

Last October, Thani was one of four defendants who successfully overturned an involuntary manslaughter conviction handed down in 2013 by a criminal court.

A fifth defendant was given a one-year suspended sentence, Doha News said.