The Ministry of External Affairs announced that the Qatari Court has reduced the death penalty sentences of eight former Indian Navy officers, who were detained in the Dahra Global case last year, to jail terms.
Describing the judgement, the MEA said, "We have noted the verdict today of the Court of Appeal of Qatar in the Dahra Global case, in which the sentences have been reduced."
The ministry also mentioned that they are waiting for the comprehensive verdict in the matter and are maintaining close communication with the legal team in Qatar.
"The detailed judgement is awaited. We are in close touch with the legal team as well as the family members to decide on the next steps. Our Ambassador to Qatar and other officials were present in the Court of Appeal today, along with the family members. We have stood by them since the beginning of the matter and we will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also continue to take up the matter with the Qatari authorities," added MEA.
The eight Indian citizens had been detained in Qatar since October 2022 on suspicion of spying on a submarine project. The former navy officers were given the death penalty by a Qatar court, although the specific charges have not been officially disclosed.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affairs reported that two hearings occurred in the case.
"There have been two hearings. We filed an appeal, with the families, and the detainees had a final appeal. Two hearings have since been held. One was on November 30th and the other was on November 23rd. I think the next hearing is coming up soon," Arindam Bagchi said.
Furthermore, the Qatar Court of First Instance issued a ruling against them, as stated by the Ministry of External Affairs.
The spokesperson for the MEA also emphasized the recent discussion between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad. The spokesperson mentioned that they had a positive conversation regarding the overall bilateral relationship.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani during the COP28 summit in Dubai, focusing on the bilateral partnership and the welfare of the Indian community residing in Qatar.