The Indian government on Thursday expressed shock over the news of the eight former Indian Navy personnel, who have been in custody in Qatar since last year, being awarded the death sentence, saying it will contest the order.
“The Court of First Instance of Qatar has today passed a judgement in the case involving 8 Indian employees of Al Dahra company. 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 External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
Due to the confidential nature of proceedings of this case, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this juncture, the statement said further.
The eight persons were arrested last year after being charged with spying for Israel by Qatar authorities.
The men also include decorated officers who once commanded major Indian warships, were working for Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, a private firm that provided training and related services to Qatar’s armed forces.
Their bail pleas were rejected numerous times and their detention extended by Qatari authorities.
On Thursday, the Court of First Instance of Qatar passed a judgement.