1. Qatar court accepts appeal against death sentences for eight former Indian navy personnel accused of spying.
2. The court agrees to hear their plea, but no specific timeline is provided for the proceedings.
3. The decision follows the earlier shocking death sentences pronounced by Qatar’s Court of First Instance.
Qatar, Nov 24: Qatar court has accepted the appeal filed by the Indian government against the death sentences of eight former Indian navy personnel accused of spying. The court has agreed to hear their plea without providing a specific timeline for the proceedings. This development comes a month after the eight individuals were sentenced to death by Qatar’s Court of First Instance.
The charges against the eight former Indian Navy personnel were filed on March 25, and they were tried under Qatari law. The situation escalated on October 26 when the local court pronounced the death sentences. The External Affairs Ministry had expressed deep shock at the verdict and pledged to explore all legal options in the case.
The individuals arrested were identified as Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, and Sailor Ragesh—all former Indian Navy personnel employed by Dahra Global.
The Congress party has urged the government to secure the release of the eight men at the earliest. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh stated that the party expects the government to use diplomatic and political leverage with the Qatari government to ensure the officers have full recourse to appeals and to do the utmost to secure their release promptly.
The Indian nationals, all employees of Doha-based Dahra Global, were taken into custody in August 2022. After their arrest, they were initially placed in solitary confinement but later received some relief when they were moved to a double-bed occupancy in a jail ward along with their colleagues.