Qatar Court Accepts Appeal Application Against Death Sentence For Indian Navy Vets

The veterans were apprehended without any formal charges last year and media accounts indicated that they were being accused of espionage.

New Delhi: The Qatar Court of Appeal has accepted the Indian government’s application against the death sentence given to eight former Indian Navy veterans, as per informed sources.

On October 26, Qatar’s Court of First Instance handed the death penalty to eight Indian employees of Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, a now-defunct Omani firm.

All the Indian employees were former Indian naval officers who had been recruited to provide training to the Qatari defence forces.

As per sources, the appeal has been accepted and the hearings for the application will start as per schedule. No other details were provided.

The eight men are Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commodore Amit Nagpal, Commodore Purnendu Tiwari, Commodore Sugunakar Pakala, Commodore Sanjeev Gupta and Sailor Ragesh.

In August 2022, they were apprehended without any formal charges, and media accounts indicated that they were being accused of espionage.

Their family members had been vocal in speaking to the media till last year, but have preferred to remain silent for months now.

Since the matter became public last year, the Indian government has repeatedly said in public that the case requires “sensitive” handling.

India had stated that it was “deeply shocked” with the death penalty verdict.

The Indian embassy had got consular access to the eight men on November 7.

External affairs minister S. Jaishankar also met the families of the eight men in a closed door meeting.

Declining to speak about the charges, external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said that the judgement has been kept confidential.

“We will also remain engaged with the Qatari authorities in this matter,” he said on November 9.