Qatar verdict on 8 ex-Navy men issue, Appeal filed; India got 2nd consular access to 8 Indians: MEA

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  • India has got second consular access to the eight Navy veterans who were sentenced to death by a Qatar court on November 7, the Ministry of External Affairs said. 
  • The judgement is confidential and has been shared with the legal team. 
  •  An appeal has been filed in this regard. We are also in touch with Qatari authorities,” 
  • Congress leader Manish Tewari reacted “No Judgement of any Court of Law & that to sentencing 08 Retired Senior Naval Personnel of a ‘friendly foreign country’ to death can be confidential. 

The charges against the Indian nationals were not made public by Qatari authorities. But sources said the Indians had been working in their private capacity with Dahra Global to oversee the induction of Italian small stealth submarines U2I2. Weeks after eight former personnel of the Indian Navy, arrested in an alleged case of espionage, were handed a death sentence by a court in Qatar, the Ministry of External Affairs said that an appeal has been filed in the case.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: “Qatar has a court of first instance that gave the judgment. The judgement is confidential and has been shared with the legal team. An appeal has been filed in this regard. We are also in touch with Qatari authorities.”  He added: “On November 7, our embassy in Doha received another consular access to the detainees. We will remain engaged with the authorities in the matter.”

The Indian nationals, all employees of Doha-based Dahra Global, were taken into custody in August 2022. The charges against the Indian nationals were not made public by Qatari authorities. But sources said the Indians had been working in their private capacity with Dahra Global to oversee the induction of Italian small stealth submarines U2I2.

The arrested Indians 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 ex-Indian Navy, employed by Dahra Global.

Congress leader Manish Tewari reacted to Arindam Bagchi’s statement that the verdict was confidential and said it was not possible. “No Judgement of any Court of Law & that to sentencing 08 Retired Senior Naval Personnel of a ‘ friendly foreign country’ to death can be confidential. Even in the most cuckoo judicial systems of the most warped banana Republics can a judgement of a Court of Law be confidential? Why have the families not been provided with a copy of the Judgment? Have the incarcerated Retired Naval officers been given a translated copy of the judgement or is it confidential from them too,” Manish Tewari tweeted.

The timeline of the incident is as follows:

  • On August 30, 2022, the eight men employed by defence company Dahara Global were arrested.
  • October 2022: Consular access was granted.
  • March 2023: The last of the many bail pleas filed for the veterans was rejected and charges were filed against them.
  •  May 2023: Dahra Global closed all its operations.

  • August 2023: The solitary confinement of the eight men ended and they were put together with two men in each cell.
  • October 2023: A court awarded the death penalty to them.
  • November 7: Second consular access given to India.

 (With inputs from agencies)

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