Eight veterans of the Indian Navy, who have been held in solitary confinement in Doha since August of last year, after being sacked by their Qatari employers, will be tried on serious charges on May 3 that could result in the death penalty.
Two Qataris have also been charged, including Khamis al-Ajmi, a former officer in the Oman Air Force and the CEO of Dahra Global, which hired them for a top-secret project to construct midget submarines based on Italian technology featuring stealth characteristics. Maj Gen Tariq Khalid Al Obaidly, who oversees Qatar’s international military operations, is the other Qatari national accused.
The Qatari authorities are reported to have electronic evidence in this regard, and the eight former officers of the Indian Navy have been charged with spying for Israel.
“We are engaged with the Qatari authorities. Our embassy in Doha continues to remain in touch with the families. The next day of the hearing is in early May. We are trying to see what can be done before that in connection with that hearing,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said.
Several former officers of the Indian Navy were employed by Dahra Global Technologies to work on the project. They have all received notice that the business will cease operations on May 31 and have been offered a severance package. The MEA stated that it was making “all efforts to assist these Indians” despite not having any future salaries to cover legal costs.
“This is now in the legal process. Let me emphasise that we are making all efforts to assist these Indians who were detained and we are also extending consular assistance as well as legal assistance as part of the legal process that is underway,” Bagchi had reiterated.
The Indian Embassy also arranges frequent visits for the detained eight men’s family members and offers consular and legal support.
Eight Veterans of the Indian Navy, who have been charged are:
1)Capt Navtej Singh Gill
2)Capt Birendra Kumar Verma
3)Capt Saurabh Vasisht
4)Cdr Amit Nagpal
5)Cdr Purnendu Tiwari
6)Cdr Sugunakar Pakala
7)Cdr Sanjeev Gupta
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