The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday expressed optimism regarding the ongoing appeal process against the death sentences handed down to eight former Indian Navy personnel by a Qatari court.
Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry, said that India is actively engaged with Qatari authorities and remains committed to providing comprehensive legal and consular assistance to the individuals in question.
The death sentences, issued by Qatar's Court of First Instance on October 26, prompted strong reactions from India, describing the ruling as "deeply" shocking. In response, an appeal was promptly filed, and Bagchi emphasized that the case is currently progressing through the legal channels of Qatar's Court of Appeal.
"The case is currently in a legal process there. As we mentioned, an appeal has been filed in Qatar's Court of Appeal. We are also engaged with the Qatari authorities on the matter, and we will continue to extend all legal and consular assistance (to them)," clarified Bagchi during his weekly media briefing.
While respecting the sensitivity of the case, Bagchi urged against engaging in speculative discussions. The Qatari side has maintained confidentiality regarding the judgment in the entire process, making it imperative for accurate information to be disseminated.
Addressing some ‘inaccurate’ reports, Bagchi stated that the appeal in the case has not been adjudicated and that the factual accuracy of such information needs verification.
"I would again urge everyone not to engage in speculation considering the sensitive nature of the case," he said.
"The appeal process is underway and we would hope for a positive outcome," he added.
The Ministry of External Affairs had previously underlined the "high importance" attached to this case and emphasized the exploration of all legal avenues.
The eight Indian nationals, former Navy officers employed by the private company Al Dahra, were arrested in August of the preceding year on allegations of espionage. Notably, neither the charges against them nor the details of the alleged espionage were publicly disclosed by either the Qatari authorities or New Delhi.
These veterans, with unblemished service records of up to 20 years in the Indian Navy, held significant positions, including that of instructors. Despite the challenges, India remains hopeful for a positive outcome in the ongoing legal proceedings and continues to actively engage with Qatari authorities to secure the best possible resolution for its citizens.