Qatar court commutes death sentence of 8 ex-Navy men : The Tribune India

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Qatar court commutes death sentence of 8 ex-Navy men

MEA says detailed verdict awaited, in touch with legal team

Qatar court commutes death sentence of 8 ex-Navy men

PM Narendra Modi with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the COP28 summit in Dubai. File



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, December 28

A court in Qatar has commuted the death sentence handed down to eight former Indian Navy personnel in an alleged case of espionage, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday.

Outcome of PM’s Dubai meet?

Verdict is seen as a big diplomatic win for India as it comes weeks after PM Narendra Modi met Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on COP28 Summit sidelines in Dubai on December 1. Modi had then said they discussed “well-being” of Indian community in Qatar.

Will extend all assistance

We will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance to 8. We will also continue to take up the matter with Qatari authorities. MEA statement

Worked for Doha firm

  • Aug 2022 8 ex-Indian Navy men working for Doha-based firm held for espionage
  • Oct 2023 They are sentenced to death by Qatar’s Court of First Instance; full charges are not made public
  • Nov India moves Court of Appeal in Qatar against sentence; three hearings held
  • Dec Indian Ambassador to Qatar gets counsellor access; Court of Appeals commutes death sentence of all eight

May serve jail term in India

India and Qatar had in 2014 inked a treaty for the transfer of sentenced prisoners. If Qatar agrees to the application of this Treaty in this case, the eight former Navy men may serve the remainder of their sentences in India.

“We have noted the verdict today of the Court of Appeal of Qatar in the Dahra Global case, in which the sentences have been reduced,” the ministry said in a statement.

The eight former personnel of the Indian Navy, arrested in an alleged case of espionage, were given the death sentence by Qatar’s Court of First Instance in October.

All employees of Doha-based Dahra Global, the eight were taken into custody in August 2022. The charges against them were not made public by Qatari authorities. India had moved the Court of Appeal in Qatar against the death sentence last month.

“Our Ambassador to Qatar and other officials were present in the Court of Appeal today, along with the family members. We have stood by them since the beginning of the matter and will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also continue to take up the matter with the Qatari authorities,” the statement said.

Noting that a detailed judgment was awaited, the ministry said it was in close touch with the legal team as well as the family members to decide on the next steps. “Due to the confidential and sensitive nature of proceedings of this case, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this juncture,” the Ministry of External Affairs stated.

The former Indian Navy personnel were on October 26 given death sentence by Qatar’s Court of First Instance. India described the ruling as “deeply” shocking and said it would explore all legal options in the case. The MEA also said it was attaching “high importance” to the case.

Their court of appeal had held three hearings earlier — November 23 and 30, and December 7 — while the Indian Ambassador to Qatar got counsellor access on December 3.

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#Dubai #Indian Navy #Qatar


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