Qatar car crash: Cambridge family’s grave concerns over woman’s death

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Qatar car crash: Cambridge family’s grave concerns over woman’s death

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Image source, Jo Sullivan
Image caption,
Rafaelle Tsakanika, 21, from Cambridge, was killed in a two-car crash near Doha in March 2019.

The family of a West End make-up artist who was killed in a car crash in Qatar have “grave concerns” about information provided by the country’s authorities, an inquest heard.

Rafaelle Tsakanika, 21, from Cambridge, died in a two-car crash near Doha on 30 March 2019.

Mubarak Al Hajri, then aged 46, was convicted of causing her death.

He was sentenced to two months in prison and ordered to pay compensation to Ms Tsakanika’s family.

Ms Tsakanika was the passenger in a Toyota Land Cruiser which “flipped over several times”, resulting in her and her 20-year-old friend being “thrown” out of the car.

Al Hajri was also convicted of causing serious injuries to the 20-year-old, driving in a way that endangered lives, fleeing the scene of an accident and speeding.

Shortly after the crash, Al Hajri was caught “racing” at 119mph (192km/h).

Image source, Jo Sullivan
Image caption,
Ms Tsakanika’s family would await a report from an expert forensic collision investigator, Radd Seiger said

A pre-inquest review into the death of Ms Tsakanika, who was known as Raffy, was heard at Peterborough Town Hall.

Barrister John Goss said the family had “grave reservations about the extent and quality” of material disclosed by the Qatari authorities.

He said the family wanted to have a full inquest listed “and to move towards that as best we can on the information we have available”.

Simon Milburn, area coroner for Cambridgeshire, said he would instruct a forensic collision investigator to review the evidence and an inquest date would be set.

Radd Seiger, adviser and spokesman for Ms Tsakanika’s family, told the inquest: “The family know there is nothing they can do to bring her back, but they have the right to learn how Raffy died, which is the main purpose of an inquest.

“The Qatari authorities have so far ignored all pleas and failed to give full disclosure to either the family or the coroner.

“They [the family] still do not know what happened to her.”

He said the version of events described by the Qataris “does not stand up to scrutiny” and that it was as if Ms Tsakanika’s death was being swept “under carpet” ahead of the forthcoming football World Cup.

“Raffy’s family want to ensure that what happened to them never happens again and hope that their case serves to warn anyone planning to visit Qatar of the perils on their roads and the fact that they are unlikely to get justice should the worst happen to them,” Mr Seiger said.

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