India has lodged an appeal with Qatar regarding the death penalty handed down to eight ex-Navy personnel last month, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi confirmed during a weekly press briefing on Thursday, 9 November.
The Court of First Instance in Qatar passed a verdict of the death penalty to the eight men, who used to work with Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services on 26 October – more than a year after they were arrested in August 2022. While the reasons for their arrest remain undisclosed, Arindam Bagchi confirmed that "formally submitted an appeal."
During the MEA's briefing, Bagchi clarified that specifics of the case are still inaccessible. He said, "The verdict is confidential and has solely been disclosed to the legal team. We are presently pursuing additional legal measures."
The Quint had previously reported that the aforementioned "verdict: was originally to be sent to Indian officials, specifically the Indian Embassy in Qatar, by 2:30 pm IST on 29 October, but was deferred by authorities.
Sources told The Quint that not only does the verdict contain details of the charges under which the eight-ex servicemen have been sentenced, but also shed light on the court's judgment and rationale behind it.
The Quint has also learnt that while the appeal has not been formally accepted yet, it has been made in a higher court as per Qatari law.
"As far as I know, their appeal has been filed, and we are also in contact with the Qatari authorities on this matter," Spokesperson Bagchi said and added:
"On 7 November, our Embassy got another round of consular access, during which we met with these 8 individuals, and we are in contact with their family members as well. Last week... earlier this month, the External Affairs Minister met their family members here in Delhi. We will provide as much legal and consular assistance as we can."
The accused have been identified as 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.