India expects 'positive outcome' on appeal to free ex-navy men in Qatar jail: MEA
PTC News Desk: India is expecting a “positive outcome” to the appeal filed by the families of eight former Indian Navy personnel sentenced to death by a Qatari court after being held for more than a year on unspecified charges.
On October 26, the Court of First Instance in Qatar sentenced to death eight men, including decorated officers who commanded frontline warships in the Indian Navy. Both countries have not publicly discussed the men's charges, but reports suggest they were charged with espionage.
“This is a sensitive case and the case is currently in a legal process there. As we have mentioned, an appeal has been filed in Qatar’s Court of Appeal,” said Arindam Bagchi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson.
Bagchi stated that he was unaware of any Court of Appeal decision. He added, without going into details, that the appeals process is underway and that India is hoping for a "positive outcome."
“We are also engaged with the Qatari authorities on the matter, and we will continue to extend all legal and consular assistance,” the MEA spokesperson added.
“I would again urge everyone not to engage in speculation considering the sensitive nature of the case, as well as the fact that the judgement in the entire process has been made confidential by the Qatari side."
Appeals against Court of First Instance verdicts in Qatar can be filed with the Court of Appeal. Following that, an appeal can be filed with the Court of Cassation, Qatar's highest court.
The Indian side is thought to be considering other options for resolving the issue. One option is to work out a deal under a 2015 agreement signed by India and Qatar for the transfer of convicted prisoners so that they can serve their sentences in their home country.
- With inputs from agencies