Qatar court hands death sentence to eight former Indian Navy officials; ‘deeply shocked’ MEA exploring all legal options

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A Qatar court on October 26 handed death sentence to eight former Indian Navy officials who are currently detained in in the Gulf country. Reacting to the verdict, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it is “deeply shocked” and is “awaiting detailed judgement”.

“We have initial information that the Court of First Instance of Qatar has today passed a judgement in the case involving 8 Indian employees of Al Dahra company,” the MEA said in a statement.

“We are deeply shocked by the verdict of death penalty and are awaiting the detailed judgement. We are in touch with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all legal options,” the Ministry added.

“We attach high importance to this case, and have been following it closely. We will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also take up the verdict with Qatari authorities,” the MEA statement said, adding, “due to the confidential nature of proceedings of this case, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this juncture”.

The former Indian Navy officers — 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 — were arrested by Qatari intelligence service from Doha on August 30, 2022. The charges against them were not made public by Qatari authorities.

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