Qatar accepts India’s appeal against death sentence to former Navy officers

Qatar accepts India's appeal against death sentence to former Navy officers
Qatar accepts India's appeal against death sentence to former Navy officers

A Qatar court has granted approval to the appeal filed by the Indian government concerning the death penalty given to eight ex-Indian Navy personnel last month. The court has indicated that the subsequent hearing is anticipated to take place soon.

Last month, Qatar’s Court of First Instance sentenced these eight former Indian Navy individuals to death. India reacted strongly, terming the verdict “extremely” shocking, and pledged to explore all available legal avenues in the case.

An appeal was lodged against the death sentence passed by the Qatari court for these individuals by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) earlier this month. The MEA spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, affirmed that the Indian embassy in Doha obtained additional consular access to the detained Indians and confirmed that India would continue to provide comprehensive legal and consular assistance to them.

Bagchi stated, “As previously informed, on October 26, the Court of First Instance in Qatar pronounced a verdict in the case involving eight Indian employees of Al Dahra company.” He added, “The verdict remains confidential and has been disclosed solely to the legal team. They are now pursuing further legal steps, and an appeal has been lodged. We will continue to engage with the Qatari authorities concerning this matter.”

Last August, the Indian nationals, associated with the private firm Al Dahra, were arrested allegedly in connection with espionage, although neither the Qatari authorities nor New Delhi disclosed the specific charges against them.

The charges against these eight former Indian Navy personnel were filed on March 25, and they underwent trial under Qatari jurisdiction.

All of these former naval officers had served for up to 20 years in the Indian Navy, with commendable records, holding crucial roles, including that of instructors. Al-Dhara Global shut down its operations in Doha in May, and all personnel, primarily Indians, have since returned home.

Previously, the Navy had taken up the matter of these ex-naval personnel with the higher echelons of the government to secure their release.