Published On: Thu, Dec 28th, 2023

Qatar court commutes death sentence of 8 Indian Navy veterans

New Delhi: The Court of Appeal in Qatar on Thursday commuted the death sentences of eight former Indian Naval officers allegedly involved in a case of corruption and espionage.

Court of Appeal in Qatar on Thursday commuted the death sentences of eight former Indian Naval officers

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in India has been actively monitoring the situation, providing support and assistance throughout the process.

“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,” a recent MEA notification read.

The statement comes as a relief to the families of the officers and the Indian community at large, reflecting the continuous efforts of the Indian government to ensure the welfare of its citizens abroad.

While a detailed judgement is still awaited, the MEA has expressed its commitment to stay in close contact with both the legal team and the families of the accused to decide the future course of action.

“Our Ambassador to Qatar and other officials were present at the Court of Appeal today, along with family members. We have stood by them since the beginning of the matter and we will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance,” the MEA statement added, highlighting the ongoing support provided to all incarcerated ex-Navy veterans by the Indian government.

The statement also mentioned the sensitivity and confidential nature of the proceedings, stating, “Due to the confidential and sensitive nature of the proceedings of this case, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this juncture.”

The commutation of the sentences comes in the wake of the recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai on December 1.

Looking forward, India could explore the option of having the eight former naval officers repatriated to India and serve their term in Indian prisons under the “Treaty on the transfer of sentenced persons between India and Qatar”.

The treaty, approved by the Indian Cabinet on December 2, 2014, helps prisoners from both countries to serve their remaining sentences near their families, aiding in their social rehabilitation.

The case has been under intense scrutiny since the arrest of the former officers in August 2022.

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