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Eight Ex-Indian Navy Personnel Given Death Penalty In Qatar Accused Of Spying For Israel: Report

Eight former Indian navy personnel who were sentenced to death by a Qatari court on Thursday were charged with spying for Israel, sources from both countries told Reuters. 

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Eight former Indian navy personnel who were sentenced to death by a Qatari court on Thursday were charged with spying for Israel, sources from both countries told Reuters. 

As of Friday evening, neither Qatar nor India has officially stated the charges against the eight who were arrested in August 2022. A government official in India aware of Doha’s stance said the Qatar authorities had accused them of spying for Israel. It has been reported that the Indians, while employed at Al Dahra, were involved in the induction of Italian small stealth U2I2 submarines, which was a top-secret project. 

Both sources spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the case. Qatar’s government declined to immediately comment on the sentences. There was no immediate response from the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem, which oversees Israel’s intelligence services.

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The ruling comes at a time when Doha is trying to negotiate with the Palestinian militant group Hamas for the release of over 200 hostages seized during its October 7 attack in Israel, which is pummelling Gaza with aerial strikes in response.

The eight Indians facing the death penalty have the option to appeal their sentences. It is learnt that the families of the former Indian Navy personnel had filed a mercy plea to the Emir of Qatar. However, there is no confirmation of it.

India’s External Affairs Ministry said in a statement it was awaiting the detailed judgment in the case. “We are in touch with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all legal options,” it said. “We attach high importance to this case and have been following it closely. We will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also take up the verdict with Qatari authorities.”

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