8 Indian Navy Veterans In Qatar Given 60 Days To Appeal Against Prison Terms

New Delhi: Eight former Indian Navy personnel imprisoned in Qatar have been granted a 60-day window to appeal the varied prison terms handed down by a Qatari court last week. The court had initially sentenced them to death in October, which was later commuted to prison terms following an appeal by their family members.

The Ministry of External Affairs confirmed the development, with spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal noting that the legal team had received a copy of the court order, described as a “confidential document.”

Jaiswal stated that the Court of Appeal’s decision allowed for a 60-day appeal period before the Court of Cassation, Qatar’s highest court. The spokesperson highlighted that the death penalties had been converted to varying prison sentences for the eight Indian nationals. The prison terms reportedly ranged from three to 25 years.

The Indian Navy veterans, employed by Al Dahra, were arrested in August of the previous year, and the specific charges were not disclosed by Qatari authorities or New Delhi.

The legal team is currently assessing the next course of action, and the Ministry of External Affairs remains in contact with both the family members and the legal representatives.

The former Navy officers, with up to 20 years of unblemished service, held significant positions, including instructors in the force. Al-Dahra Global closed its operations in Doha in May, leading to the return of primarily Indian employees.

India is exploring the potential use of a 2015 bilateral agreement with Qatar, allowing the transfer of sentenced persons between the two countries. However, the status of Qatar’s ratification of the agreement remains unclear.

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