Qatar accepts India’s plea against death sentence to 8 ex-navy officials: Report

Indian Navy personnel salute from a naval ship. [Photo: Wikimedia Commons]

Qatar has responded positively to India’s appeal against the death sentence handed down to eight former Indian Navy personnel accused of espionage.

These individuals, including officers with prior command roles on major Indian warships, were affiliated with a private firm providing training and services to Qatar’s armed forces. The Court of First Instance in Qatar is yet to determine the date for the appeal hearing, as reported by The Quint.

The arrest of these eight men in August 2022 on spying charges escalated to a death sentence in October, causing diplomatic ripples. Despite multiple rejected bail pleas, Indian authorities are actively engaged in efforts to secure their release.

The individuals in question are Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, and Sailor Ragesh Gopakumar. In June, the sister of one of the detained officers, Meetu Bhargava, sought the government’s assistance in bringing her brother back, as reported by NDTV.

According to an anonymous source from earlier last year, suspicions were raised among Qatari authorities when Navy personnel engaged in a friendly conversation with an Indian diplomat in Doha, possibly involving the exchange of secret information.

The case has drawn attention due to its diplomatic implications and the urgency to address the fate of the accused Navy veterans.

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